Friends bought £3,000 of drugs in Ibiza before rugby player found unconscious in pool, inquest hears

The group had purchased 3,000 worth of drugs in the hours before his death, Wakefield Coroners Court heard.
The group had purchased 3,000 worth of drugs in the hours before his death, Wakefield Coroners Court heard.

A rugby player died just hours after he and his friends purchased £3,000 of drugs, a pre inquest review hearing was told.

Ben Crawford, 19, died after being found unconscious in the swimming pool of a private villa in Ibiza in July of last year.

Mr Crawford, from South Elmsall, had been staying with a group of 10 friends.

The group had purchased £3,000 worth of drugs in the hours before his death, Wakefield Coroner’s Court heard.

Speaking at the hearing this morning, senior coroner Kevin McLoughlin said that a mixture of cocaine and ketamine had been found in Mr Crawford’s system following his death.

Emma Thompson, Mr Crawford’s mother, said she hoped that the inquest would answer some other questions surrounding her son’s death.

Mr Crawford, a former Minsthorpe Community College student, was part of the open age division of Upton ARLFC and had played with the club through its junior teams.

A post-mortem report, compiled by the Spanish authorities, has been shared with the court, and will be translated in the coming days.

Mr McLoughlin said: “We’ve received the Spanish post-mortem report in Spanish. We have pressed to have it through today but it’s going to be some time next week. In a sense we need that document to be able to make significant progress.

“This is a problem that we circle around endlessly. We are at the mercy of the authorities of whatever country to get papers from them and sometimes it’s endlessly frustrating.”

However, Mr Loughlin said that he did not believe the Spanish police had done “much in the way of an investigation”, adding that there was no suggestion they had searched the villa following Mr Crawford’s death.

An inquest into Mr Crawford’s death will be formally opened once the post mortem has been translated, Mr Loughlin said.

It was decided that a number of witnesses would be asked to appear at the inquest, including a man who saw Mr Crawford by the pool in the minutes before his death.

Mr McLoughlin said he would attempt to organise the inquest for the autumn, as some of the witnesses worked seasonal jobs abroad.

But he warned that witnesses had the right to refuse to answer questions that might incriminate them.

He said: “Any witnesses I call has the right to not answer any question that might incriminate them.

“They have the power to say I don’t want to answer that question because I don’t incriminate myself. It’s a legal right.”