Don’t do it - Doncaster dad speaks out about dangers of recreational drugs

Carl Potts, pictured with Alex and Ashleigh in happier times.
Carl Potts, pictured with Alex and Ashleigh in happier times.

‘It’s not worth it. Alex has not lived his life. He had too much to do in his life. Now he can’t. It has all gone’

A dad has spoken out against the dangers of recreational drug-taking after his son collapsed at a Doncaster party and died after taking a deadly cocktail.

Alex Potts’ girlfriend had refused to go to the party in Balby because she knew illegal drugs such as MCAT and ecstasy would be consumed.

When the 29-year-old became seriously ill the other guests called an ambulance, but initially pretended they did not know Alex and had found him wandering in the street on Balby Road, an inquest was told.

One of them eventually revealed what drugs he had been taking but it was too late to save the recruitment consultant and he was certified dead 90 minutes later in hospital.

Alex, who was said to ‘party hard’ in his leisure time, denied taking drugs when questioned by his dad, Carl.

Mr Potts, aged 51, of Cross Gate, Wadworth, issued a warning to others after hearing his son in fact had in his system six different drugs, including cocaine, ecstasy, MCAT and mephedrone.

He said: “It’s not worth it, don’t do it. Alex has not lived, he’s had no kids, no life – it’s all gone. He had too much to do in his life, now he can’t.

“I knew he partied hard and it’s what today’s generation do, but I didn’t realise the extent of his recreational drug use.”

Samples taken from Alex’s body showed the combination of drugs had caused cardiac arrhythmia.

The party was at the home of Alanah Lister and was attended by Alex and their friends, Keiron Cordon and Nathan Nicholas.

But Alex’s girlfriend, Rebecca Jow, who knew he took drugs, gave a statement saying: “I wasn’t happy because I didn’t touch them. I told him he needed to stop taking drugs. A lot of the time he was off his head on MCAT.

“Alex invited me to the party. I knew there would be drugs so I didn’t go.”

Mr Cordon described Alex as being ‘part of the drug-taking scene’ and mostly used MCAT, which he brought to the party.

“He always seemed like he’d taken something when I saw him,” he said. “You never knew how much he took before he met us.”

Mr Cordon said Alex sat in a chair not saying anything and became ‘more and more out of it’.

“He seemed to be hallucinating. It was the first time he’d had such an adverse reaction. When it became apparent it was more physical that’s when I rang the ambulance.”

Miss Lister said Alex ‘never looked like he couldn’t control what he was doing’.

After Alex died everyone at the house, including Miss Lister’s mother and sister, was arrested, searched and had their phones checked. A small quantity of MCAT was found in the lounge.

Det Con Gareth Jessup told the inquest no further action would be taken against any of the five.

Although three of them initially witheld information about Alex, Det Con Jessup said they were all ‘under the influence of substances and their judgment was impaired’.

“I believe they all failed to realise the severity of the situation,” he said. “I do not feel with-holding that information has contributed to Alex’s death.”

Doncaster Coroner Nicola Mundy concluded Alex died from non-dependent abuse of drugs which was clearly recreational usage, adding: “This was purely and simply part of his social life at this time.”