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Thursday, 8 April 2010

The Press Association: Taxi driver 'died after drinking cocaine-laced rum'

The Press Association: Taxi driver 'died after drinking cocaine-laced rum': "north London man given a bottle of rum as a gift died after he added a dash to his Guinness - unaware that the alcohol contained pure liquid cocaine allegedly smuggled into Britain, a court has heard.
Lascell Malcolm, 63, collapsed with a heart attack after drinking from the bottle, which was one of five smuggled into the country, each containing around 250g (8.8oz) of the Class A drug.
The unwitting father-of-two accepted the gift from an equally unsuspecting friend, Antoinette Corlis, after he collected her from Gatwick Airport, jurors were told.
Neither knew that Ms Corlis, who had flown back from a holiday in St Lucia, had been used as a drugs mule by Martin Newman, prosecutors said. Croydon Crown Court heard how Newman, 50, met Ms Corlis on the island where he was born and had asked her - along with another friend, Michael Lawrence - to carry some Bounty rum back to Britain.
Jurors heard that Newman approached the pair on May 24 last year, while they were waiting to check in. He claimed he had exceeded his baggage allowance and needed help transporting the drink. Mr Lawrence took two bottles in a yellow Veuve Clicquot box, agreeing to give them back on landing.
But the plan went awry when Newman was held up by Customs officers in London and Mr Lawrence, who was due to catch a connecting flight to Switzerland, had to depart. He took one bottle with him and handed the second to Ms Corlis, who was collected by taxi driver Mr Malcolm.
Mr Malcolm, who gave her a lift home, refused to accept payment. To thank him, Ms Corlis gave him what she believed to be a bottle of rum. Mr Malcolm died the next day from a heart attack caused by cocaine poisoning."


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