A drinker who had taken the dance drug mephedrone died after downing a pint of vodka in four seconds, an inquest in the UK heard today.
Richard Davies swallowed the spirits in one go, despite attempts to stop him.
The 29-year-old had been drinking with friends before the alcohol – the equivalent of 13 pints of lager – knocked him into a stupor.
He was found unconscious and not breathing in a pool of his own blood, and died hours later.
Teesside Coroner’s Court heard how the electrician’s mate, of Lincoln Place, Thornaby, near Stockton-on-Tees, was five-and-a-half times the legal drink-drive limit and his body contained traces of the then-legal high mephedrone, which has since been banned.
Mr Davies’ best friend Christopher Crooks told the inquest yesterday how he desperately tried to save his life after he was found unconscious at about 4.30pm on January 16.
In a statement read out by deputy Teesside coroner Tony Eastwood, he said: “Richard drank a pint of vodka in four seconds or so.
“I did try to take the glass off him, but he turned his back on me, pushed me away, and drank it all.”
Mr Crooks had taken Mr Davies to his stepfather John Brocklesby’s home, in Cobden Street, to sleep off the alcohol.
He made desperate attempts to save his friend when he stopped breathing but by the time paramedics had arrived Mr Davies was dead.
Pathologist Jan Lowe said Mr Davies had an alcohol level of 458mg in 100ml of blood, enough to have caused acute alcohol poisoning.
Recording a verdict of misadventure, Mr Eastwood said the alcohol in his system had killed him and that the mephedrone was not a contributing factor.