Two teenage girls have described the terrifying moment they woke up in a cold sweat, struggling to breathe, after they were “spiked with needles” on a night out.
Elle Vickers, 18, and Ellen Baldwin, 19, claim they were injected with an unknown drug, whilst clubbing on a night out.
The friends say they have zero recollection of the night after “blacking out” – but claim they woke up with concerning symptoms and alarming injuries in “intimate areas”.
Elle says she was covered in bruises and scratches when she woke up, with what looked like a needle puncture wound in her thigh.
Police have begun an investigation into the “spiking” incidents, which Elle and Ellen allege happened in the early hours of Saturday at 1.30am on February 12, Mirror Online reports.
The pair were partying in Fiction nightclub in Hanley, Stoke and Elle, from Cheadle, says waking up the next morning was the worst she’s ever felt.
Elle said: “Both of us blacked out and have no recollection of the vast majority of the night.
“My friend was taken to Royal Stoke by the police.
“I was alone for the rest of the night with no memory of what could of happened to me within this period of time.
“I woke up to find myself covered in bruises and scratches down the inside of my thighs and feeling the worst I have ever felt.
“I rank 111 to get advice on what to do. I was informed that 111 would ring me back when someone became available.
“At the point I made the call I was in a cold sweat, I could not hold my own head up, my throat was closed making it hard to breathe and my legs and inside my mouth are covered in cuts and bruises.”
Ellen says she cannot recall what happened, but was told police had taken her to the Royal Stoke University Hospital amid concerns for her well-being.
She was discharged within half an hour, but the Keele University students returned twice to hospital later that day after seeking advice.
Detailing her own recollection of events, Ellen said: “From what I’ve been told I collapsed outside the nightclub. My friend then got the attention of two police officers, she and my other friends shared their concern to the police that I had been spiked.
“They shrugged it off, they did not take any names or details, they just bundled me in the back of there car with my boyfriend and dropped me off at A&E.
“I do not remember leaving Fiction or any of the events that night.
“When we got to A&E I couldn’t even hold myself. They put me in a wheelchair and covered me in a blanket. I wasn’t able to hold my head up and I was barely communicating.
“Within half an hour of being there I was discharged and told to come back sober. I believe they didn’t check me over or my body. It wasn’t until the next afternoon I found the puncture wound from the needle in my upper thigh.
“The next day I had spoken to my friend Elle who had a similar experience. She ca n’t remember huge chunks of her night de ella and woke up with bruises all over her body de ella with no recollection of what happened to her.
Concerned, both Ellen and Elle returned to A&E but were told to see their GPs instead to undergo blood tests.
After being passed from pillar to post, Elle says she was finally told to go to a walk-in health clinic.
The frustrated pair say they have been “passed around by the NHS” in the hours and days following their nightmare night out.
Ellen added: “After speaking to the police and 111 they told us to go up to A&E again so they could help us and get checked to make sure we were protected against diseases that could’ve been on the needle and protected against what was injected in us.
“We were there for 20 minutes before they turned us away, we didn’t even speak to triage they also didn’t even look at the puncture marks. They just said our GP should look at it.
“We then called our GP to then be told we need to go back to A&E because the GP cannot take bloods from us and that it is also a police matter because it is an assault.
“After going back to A&E for a third time we again were told that they could not do anything and our GP should sort it out. After again speaking to them they just gave us a call slot to speak to someone at a health center about taking our bloods.
“Me and Elle understand that the NHS is under a lot of strain and we know that we are not going to be able to know what was injected into our bodies that night because it is now too late.
“But we feel that from being turned away so many times from the people that are meant to help us and care for us that we are over-reacting or making it up and we were just too drunk.
“We are two teenage girls who have been injected by a needle with something we are not aware of and not one person in the NHS has asked to see the wound they have just passed us around.
“All me and Elle want someone to look us over and check we are okay.”
Warning others to be on their guard, Ellen added: “Please everyone be safe and be aware of your surroundings because it’s not just spiking through drinks anymore.”
Fiction says it takes all reports of alleged drink spiking “very seriously” and is offering anti-spiking devices to customers.
In a statement, the nightclub said: “Everyone should feel safe on a night out, and they should feel safe in our club. We work hard to create a welcoming, inclusive and safe environment so that all our guests can enjoy a fun night out and will do everything we can to protect this right.
“While there have been no proven cases of injection spiking in Hanley, as a responsible late night operator, we take all reports of this nature very seriously.
“Our teams are fully trained on the issue and have the support of our onsite medics, we operate our ‘We Care’ policy and support the ‘Ask Angela’ scheme. We are offering anti-spiking devices to all of our guests and operate 100% searches on entry.
“We also have extensive CCTV coverage throughout the venue and security teams wear bodycams and will pass on footage to the Police to help with any investigation.
“We would encourage anyone who sees suspicious behaviour, or suspects they have been a victim, to seek immediate assistance from a member of staff or security, who are trained to help and who also have the support of our onsite first aiders. We would also encourage them to contact police and seek medical advice, so that any allegation can be properly investigated.”
Staffordshire Police are now reviewing CCTV.
A spokesman said: “We were called shortly after 6pm on Saturday following reports of a suspicious incident.
“At around 2am that day, officers working on Operation Safer Nights had assisted a 19-year-old woman to present at hospital after she reported vulnerability, following attending a nightclub in Hanley.
“She is being supported by specially-trained officers at this time while inquiries continue.
“Officers are currently reviewing CCTV footage of the area at the time of the incident and ask anyone with information to get in touch.”
Anyone with information is asked to call Staffordshire Police on Facebook, Twitter, or call 101, quoting incident number 597 of February 12. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Royal Stoke University Hospital was approached for a statement.
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.