Mum's agony as son, 18, dies after taking 'dodgy' MDMA in Newcastle where 3 others killed after wild parties

THE heartbroken family of an 18-year-old who died after taking "dodgy" MDMA screamed "he's dead, he's dead".

Mark Johnston, 18, fell seriously ill at a flat in Newcastle on Saturday after a series of wild parties in the city over the weekend.

Paramedics rushed to the scene but there was nothing they could do to save him.

Mark, of Washington, Tyne and Wear, was the second of four young people to die over the weekend in the Newcastle area.

Two 18-year-old female freshers in the same Newcastle University accommodation block died after taking ketamine.

And a 21-year-old Northumbria University died after taking MDMA.

Mark had been with friends in an upstairs flat in the early hours of Saturday morning where police say he took a quantity of MDMA.

One neighbour said: "There was a party there in the early hours of Saturday, it looked as though there were a lot of people in the flat, a mixed group of young men and women.

"Then suddenly on the afternoon ambulances started turning up and a young lad was carried out.

"Two women turned up who we were told were his mum and his sister.

"His sister got into the back of the ambulance with him but came out a short while later screaming ‘he's dead, he's dead’. That will stay with me for a long time, it was absolutely awful.

"He was no more than a boy, a young lad, and he's lost his life needlessly.

I feel so sorry for his family, they were distraught.

"Anyone who saw that happening wouldn't go near drugs again in their life.”

Mark was a former pupil at Biddick School in Washington and only turned 18 during the summer.

A relative described him as a "kind, nice, funny young lad."

The weekend of horror began just after 6am on Saturday when first year architecture student Jeni Larmour, 18, was found unresponsive at a Newcastle University accommodation block.

Paramedics and cops rushed to the Park View student village but were unable to save the former Deputy Head Girl at Armagh Royal School in Northern Ireland.

The following day, another 18-year-old woman died in the same block.

A 21-year-old Northumbria University student then died at another address in the city a few hours later.

A total of 11 people arrested in connection with the four teens' deaths have since been released on bail.

Students said there were rumours that a rogue batch of drugs had been sold on campus.

And they revealed how drug dealers had posted calling cards under bedroom doors in freshers week advertising drugs for sale on Instagram.

They also said they feared a tragedy could occur because of the number of late-night parties being held to cope with lockdown boredom.

One student said: "Lockdown hasn't helped the situation. The pubs close at 10pm and people have been going back to their halls to continue the party.

"We're not having what would be a normal freshers experience and some people are compensating for that.”

Police and university chiefs have urged youngsters not to take drugs

Chief Inspector Steve Wykes, of Northumbria Police, said: “We are all still in shock at what has been an incredibly sad and difficult weekend.

“We are committed to tackling illegal drugs supply as these substances have no place in our communities.”

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