Witham: Family’s grief after teenager Bradley Cockel dies after taking suspected dangerous drug

Bradley Cockel

Bradley Cockel - Credit: Archant

THE family of an Essex teenager have paid tribute after the youngster is believed to have died after taking a dangerous drug.

The death prompted Essex police to warn about a “dangerous batch of drugs” on the streets.

Two other men were taken ill during the same incident but later recovered after hospital treatment.

All three are believed to have taken a drug thought to be from the LSD family.

Officers went to an address in Bramble Road, Witham, at about 2.25am on Saturday, April 27, after being called by the ambulance service.

Bradley Cockel, 19, from Braintree was found to have died at the scene. Another man aged 18 from Braintree and a man aged 21 from Witham were taken by ambulance to Broomfield Hospital.

Bradley’s parents said: “Bradley was a loving and beautiful son and brother. He was an important part of our close family.

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“Even at 19 years of age he wanted to be with and part of the family and worked hard in the family business.

“We enjoyed holidays together and he was a sensible young man who had the brightest of futures in front of him.

“Please let this serve as a lesson to anyone who thinks that it is safe to experiment with drugs because if anyone could see or feel the pain that our family is suffering, and will continue to suffer, then they would realise that it is a risk that is not worth taking.”

Detectives suspect the drugs are from a crudely-produced batch which has proved to be fatal.

DCI Anne Cameron said: “We believe that one person has died and two others were taken ill because they have taken a drug that was poorly-produced by criminals who have no regard for the lives of their customers.

“Anyone with information about these drugs or anyone with any information about the death should contact us urgently.”

A post mortem examination has proved inconclusive and further tests are being carried out to establish the cause of death.

Detectives would like to make the public aware of the danger that there may be other similar drugs in circulation. The drug has the physical appearance of a white crystal powder, similar to sugar, and has a hallucinogenic type of effect.

It is believed to be known by the name 2CE. The drug can be taken orally or ingested nasally.

Anyone who may be in possession of this type of drug should stop using it with immediate effect.

Anyone with any information should call police on 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

A 19-year-old from Braintree, who was was arrested in connection with the investigation remains in custody.

Three other men who were arrested have been bailed to dates in May and July.