Published Monday, 28 July 2014
A senior detective giving evidence on Monday told Coroner John Leckey that a lack of information from the public meant they have not tracked down the culprits pushing the lethal stimulant.
The inquest heard about the death of 21-year-old Connor Paul Cochrane from Banbridge, who took a cocktail of substances in November last year, including Para-Methyl -4-Methylaminorex.
Connor, who had Asperger's syndrome and a history of drug and alcohol misuse, was found dead in his bedroom at home.
The court was told that Para-Methyl -4-Methylaminorex had caused Connor's body to overheat, leading to fatal swelling of the brain.
His mum, Sharon Cochrane, said at Newry Courthouse, she wanted to remember him as a caring and unique character who loved music.
She added that she wants the PSNI to divert more resources towards combating the problem drug.
She warned all young people to be aware of the dangers of so-called 'legal highs' that can be very dangerous.
I don't want any other family to go through the loss, upset and distress of losing a son or daughter.
Sharon Cochrane, Connor’s mother
The substance has been found in seven countries, and is often sold as ecstasy-like drug, sometimes known as 'Speckled Cherries' or 'Green Rolexes'.
A senior forensic scientist told the inquest that the drug has caused eight deaths in Hungary.
The drug is technically not illegal, however police are able to bring charges against those who sell drugs that ultimately kill.
At a previous inquest hearing, Coroner Leckey publicly queried whether manslaughter charges can be brought against the dealers.
On Monday he asked Detective Inspector Andrew Dunlop, to give an overview of the investigation.
The detective expressed a "frustration" over current legislation and the ability police have to strike against new emerging drugs.
He said new intelligence would be key to making progress on tracking down the source of the drug, which he believed was imported from the Netherlands.
"Members of the public must know how to get these drugs and the identity of the individuals who can be approached," he said.
Det Insp Dunlop insisted his officers were determined to catch the dealers.
"I can assure you Mr Coroner and indeed the family of Connor that we definitely have done everything we can to identify where they were coming from and who was supplying them," he added.
"We have done our bit as best we can to identify those people and bring them to justice."
© UTV News