Suspected needle spiking left woman unable to walk and talk during night out

A suspected victim of needle spiking who was left temporarily unable to walk and talk has told how she now fears going on nights out.

Laura Jones fears going on nights out now after a suspected needle spiking
Laura Jones fears going on nights out now after a suspected needle spiking

Laura Jones, from Wem, was celebrating her birthday in Shrewsbury at the weekend when she fell ill.

After enjoying a meal with a friend at the Loopy Shrew, she went to Albert's Shed, where after 10 minutes or so she began feeling faint.

Thankfully her friend was on hand to help her into a taxi and get her home, but Laura barely remembers a thing from her time in the venue.

She later found mysterious marks on her back, reminiscent of needle spiking.

"It was my birthday, I hadn't been out in about four years," said Laura. "We went for a meal together and thought we'd make a night of it, so went to Albert's Shed.

"We must have been in there about 10 minutes when my friend noticed something wasn't right. She got me home safely.

"I woke up feeling absolutely horrific. When I looked the next day I had this mark on my shoulder. I was still ill on Monday and this was not a hangover. We hadn't had much to drink beforehand, so to be that out of it didn't make sense.

"I called the police and they came to see me. As soon as they saw it they knew what it was."

Laura Jones had a mark on her shoulder resembling a needle spiking wound

Laura said officers took the blazer she was wearing on the night as evidence, as well as a urine sample to try and determine what may have been put into her system.

Trying to work out what happened and piece together when she might have been targeted, Laura said: "I remember going in there and going to the bar. It was so busy. You're so crammed in, it could have happened any time. I don't think it could have happened in the Loopy Shrew because we were sat on a table on our own.

"It's been hard to deal with. People need to be aware of what's happening and to report it to the police. The amount of girls that have messaged me to say it's happened to them is ridiculous. I don't think many have reported it.

"I just don't understand what's wrong with people to be going round doing that (spiking). I won't be going out in Shrewsbury now. People should be able to feel safe to go out in town.

"I'm embarrassed that I let it happen. It's a horrible feeling."

Laura Jones had a mark on her shoulder resembling a needle spiking wound

Albert's Shed have said they are investigating the incident. In a recent statement about spiking in general, the a venue spokesman said: "Albert’s Shed is committed to encouraging anybody who suspects that they may have been spiked to inform the venue and the police as soon as possible.

"Unfortunately, posting on social media does very little to provide the police or venues with an accurate picture of any possible problem, and even less to prevent further occurrences.”

Chief Inspector Mark Reilly of West Mercia Police said: "Enquires are on-going as we investigate the incident, and we will continue to run perpetrator-focused operations, working with door staff, venues and Street Wardens to identify suspicious behaviour and prevent a wide range of offences.

"Please visit Drink Aware for advice and information on the symptoms of drink spiking and what to do if you think someone has been spiked. We encourage anyone who feels they may have been a victim of spiking or has any concerns about an incident to get in touch. All reports will be investigated."

Bosses at Albert's Shed are investigating the incident

Stephanie Mansell-Jones, of Shrewsbury BID, which helps coordinate Shrewsbury PubWatch, said: “It is well acknowledged that Shrewsbury remains a very safe night out and has been recognised with a Purple Flag award – a nationally recognised safety accreditation for the last five years. We are always working closely with the police on proactive safety measures.

“A taskforce has already been set up to share information and knowledge to prevent spiking, following reports in other parts of the country.

“Training sessions have been held with venue owners about how to spot and prevent incidents of spiking, and the police are happy to give specific information and training to help venue ensure everyone can continue to enjoy a safe night out in Shrewsbury.

“West Mercia Police and Shrewsbury BID will also be jointly funding anti-spiking kits available to all venues in Shrewsbury to provide additional re-assurance to the public.”

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