Woman taken to hospital as spiking incident in Darlington

A WOMAN rushed to hospital after another spiking incident at a popular bar said she fears someone could die unless action is taken.

Yasmin Gunn, 20, was taken to hospital in an ambulance after collapsing and becoming unresponsive at The Gate cocktail bar in Darlington after “only a few drinks” on Saturday night .

Following the incident, further allegations of spiking at The Gate have emerged, with individuals saying that they felt they could have been in “serious danger”. This weekend alone, at least six people have alleged they were spiked there.

A petition launched at the weekend is calling for an investigation at The Gate “before someone loses their life”. At the time of writing, it has gathered 760 signatures.

Darlington Council leader Jonathan Dulston said he had been contacted by several concerned individuals and supported calls for an investigation.

Read more: Avalon in Darlington is preventing spiking by giving out ‘Cup Condoms’​

Miss Gunn, from Darlington, alleges she was left unconscious and unresponsive after date-rape drugs were slipped into her drink on Saturday night and said she believes that “someone could end up dead” if complaints about spiking at the nightclub are not taken seriously.

The Northern Echo: The Gate claims to have a 'zero tolerance policy' when it comes to drug use in the venue.The Gate claims to have a ‘zero tolerance policy’ when it comes to drug use in the venue. (Image: Sarah Caldecott)

She said: “I don’t think they should have their licence. I have had five people tell me that they were spiked this weekend.

“I want a full investigation. It is absolutely vile how many innocent people’s nights and lives could be ruined. Is it going to take someone dying before they take it seriously?”

Additionally, Ms Gunn claims that paramedics were told that she had been seen taking cocaine, even though drugs were never involved in her night out.

She said: “I would never touch any kind of drugs. Thankfully, my friends know that and told emergency services, but if they hadn’t, then paramedics might have treated me for an overdose and pumped me full of anything.”

Read more: This is how North East police forces are tackle spiking

The owner of The Gate, Mustafa Babat, said that none of his staff, including door staff, told ambulance staff she had taken drugs.

He added: “None of our staff would ever spike anyone, we just serve drinks. We have taken steps to make The Gate safer, with eight door staff on the door every weekend, as well as supplying test strips and drink covers. There is really nothing else we could do.

“We will continue to put our customers first and are committed to eradicating any drug and alcohol misuse in The Gate.

“Any allegations are taken extremely seriously and people who are caught using or have drugs on them will be barred for life and reported to the police.”

The Northern Echo: Since spiking controversy erupted, The Gate has rolled out a set of new measures, such as cup covers and drink tests.Since spiking controversy erupted, The Gate has rolled out a set of new measures, such as cup covers and drink tests. (Image: Sarah Caldecott)

The venue has vowed to increase its safety measures in the wake of issues with spiking across Darlington, such as increasing searches, and breathalysing punters on the door.

Mr Babat said the council’s licensing team had visited this morning (Monday) to offer further advice.

Cllr Dulston said: “Over the weekend I was inundated with concerns over spiking at a particular venue. I have already raised this issue to the cabinet, the Chief Inspector of Darlington Police, and the licensing team. I fully support any investigation.

“This needs to be nipped in the bud swiftly so people feel confident and safe to come out in Darlington and enjoy themselves.”

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The incident comes a year after several cases of “needle spiking” in the North East last winter, impacting the night-time economy – with anti-spiking campaigns such as the “Girls Night In” nightclub boycott highlighting fears over drink and needle spiking.

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