Circumstances surrounding Ipswich/Rendlesham suspected drug deaths come to light as inquests opened

A photo issued by Suffolk police of one of the pills from a dangerous batch of ecstasy with the 'sup

A photo issued by Suffolk police of one of the pills from a dangerous batch of ecstasy with the 'superman' logo. - Credit: PA

Inquests have opened into the deaths of three young men who are believed to have died after taking ecstasy, with two reportedly suffering distressing symptoms before their breathing stopped.

Justas Ropas, 22, of Bramford Lane, Ipswich, and Gediminas Kulokas, 24, of Provan Court, Ipswich, are believed to have taken ecstasy tablets known as ‘superman’.

John Hocking, 20, of Pembroke Avenue, Woodbridge, is thought to have taken cocaine and MDMA ecstasy. All three had also been drinking alcohol, it is reported.

Detective Inspector Caroline Millar, from Suffolk police, was speaking at the opening of inquests into their deaths held in Bury St Edmunds today.

She said Lithuanian Justas, who died on Christmas Eve, was found dead in bed at his home by his brother Audrius Ropas at 5.15pm.

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Gediminas, also from Lithuania, is reported to have had a New Year’s Eve party at his home, which continued into the early hours.

He started sweating, shaking and suffering breathing difficulties. Despite CPR, he was pronounced dead on his birthday by a paramedic at 10.12am. He was identified by his girlfriend Natasha Mumby.

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Det Insp Millar said John, an Englishman, became ill at his friend’s address in Rendlesham after returning from a nearby pub where he had been celebrating New Year’s Eve.

He suffered from sweating, muscle spasms and breathing difficulties before his breathing stopped and an ambulance was called. CPR proved unsuccessful. His death was confirmed at 7.21am and he was identified by a friend.

Det Insp Millar said: “At this time there appears to be no apparent link to the aforementioned superman drug, however given the close proximity to Ipswich and the circumstances surrounding his death this case will also be investigated.”

She added: “Suffolk police are liaising with forces nationally where deaths have been recorded in similar circumstances.

“These deaths are a tragic loss of these young lives and it serves as a stark warning to anyone considering abusing illegal substances; you are literally gambling with your life.”

She reiterated the police’s message that anyone in possession of these tablets should hand them in, either to police or one of the agencies previously mentioned.

The superman tablets are believed to contain PMMA.

The inquests have been adjourned pending the results of the police investigation.

•Adrian Lubecki, 19, of St Matthew’s Street, Ipswich, has admitted being concerned in the supply of a Class A drug, known as PMMA, between December 21 and January. He also admitted possessing a Class B drug, amphetamine, with intent to supply on January 2.

Two other men are on police bail.

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