United Kingdom

Paramedics found' victim naked after 'drinking "devil's breath" date-rape drug', murder trial hears 

A man allegedly poisoned with a drug known as 'devil's breath' by a Grindr date was found virtually naked, 'agitated' and 'talking gibberish', paramedics told court.

The victim, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was said to have accepted a glass of orange juice from his alleged assailant 'Remy' while on a date.

The 40-year-old man then began feeling 'fuzzy' and collapsed at his flat in Walthamstow, east London, on May 30 of last year.

Croydon Crown Court heard how the victim initially invited Remy, later idenfieid as defendant Joel Osei, 25, over for sex after making contact on gay dating app Grindr. 

As well as drugging one of their victims with a substance known as 'devil's breath', defendants Joel Osei, 25, and Diana Cristea, 18, are also accused of murdering Adrian Murphy (pictured above) at his flat in Battersea, south London

Colombian 'Devil's Breath' date rape drug

Scopolamine, also known as hyoscine or 'Devil's Breath', is made from Borrachero trees in Colombia, and used throughout the country to aid sexual predators and robbers.

The odourless powder is blown into people's faces, which once inhaled can cause victims to lose their memory, free will, and in high enough doses, can even kill. It has been described as 'the most dangerous drug in the world'. 

In the past two years cases have been reported in Spain, France and the US. But last month, UK actor Robert Lindsay told Met Police a young woman he knew was attacked with a substance bearing a chilling resemblance to 'Devil's Breath' outside a London night club. 

The drug, also referred to as Burundanga in its native Colombia, is almost impossible to detect, as it disappears from the blood stream in two to six hours and can only be found in urine samples within 12.

This makes it extremely difficult for victims to prove they have been given it – as they don't remember anything and it's untraceable in their system.

But they ended up playing computer games and taking drugs before Osei laced the man's drink with scopolamine, known in Colombia as 'devil's breath', jurors were told.

The man was taken to hospital and discharged the next day. He later reported that items including his wallet, bank cards and two laptops worth about £2,000 had been stolen from his flat.

Osei and a second defendant, Diana Cristea, 18, are accused of stealing the victim's belongings.

They are also accused of murdering Adrian Murphy at his 17th-storey flat in Battersea, south London before allegedly using his name to try and buy more than $80,000 (£62,000) worth of diamonds from a jeweller in New York.

In a witness statement, paramedic Christopher Paterson described arriving at the alleged victim's flat shortly after 9pm after a neighbour and friend raised the alarm.

Mr Paterson said: 'He was lying on his back and was dressed only in underpants.

'He was sweating, agitated and confused. Around the lounge area was evidence of drug-taking.

'He had a faster than normal heart rate, elevated blood pressure and a temperature.'

His ambulance colleague, Wilfred Payne, added: 'He was talking gibberish, he was not making any sense.' 

Osei and Cristea are accused of killing dancer Mr Murphy between May 31 and June 5 last year after his body was found in the Battersea flat.

The pair then allegedly used his details to unsuccessfully buy £62,000 worth of diamonds from a jeweller in New York, the court heard previously.

Osei and Cristea allegedly murdered Mr Murphy (pictured) before using his name to try and buy more than £62,000 worth of diamonds from a jeweller in New York, the court heard

The trial at Croydon Crown Court heard how a victim was allegedly poisoned by a man posing as a 'Grindr date' who used a glass of juice laced with a date-rape drug known as 'devil's breath'

Prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC said the drug scopolamine, which is known as 'devil's breath' in Colombia and said to be 'popular with robbers and rapists' to incapacitate their victims, was used in both incidents.

Cristea, of Barnet, north London, has admitted one count of fraud, but denies the other charges — murder, administering a poison, two counts of theft and seven other fraud charges.

Osei, who was previously living in Seven Sisters but is now of no fixed address, denies murder, administering a poison, two counts of theft and eight counts of fraud.

The trial continues.

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