Police probe drug-related deaths of close friends
POLICE are investigating the sudden deaths of a mother-of-three and her close friend at the weekend in what is understood to have been linked to drugs.
The bodies of Kelly Watters (42) and Stuart Robinson (31) were discovered in a house in Klondyke Street in the Shankill area of the city on Saturday night.
Post mortem examinations are to be carried out.
A PSNI spokeswoman confirmed that they had launched a probe but were "not treating their deaths as suspicious at this time".
When asked why details of the deaths had not been released the spokeswoman said the PSNI did not "proactively issue details of sudden deaths".
"We have no investigative reason or policing purpose to issue details about a sudden death proactively unless we suspect there to be suspicious circumstances surrounding the death," she said.
Ms Watters and Mr Robinson were friends who socialised together and were described as "inseparable".
Neighbours said Mr Robinson was "quiet" and was understood to be coming to terms with the death of his father, who passed away last year.
Pastor Jack McKee, of New Life City Church, said his thoughts were with the families and said the community needed to take a "a united stand...against those who impose violence and impose their death drugs on our people".
In a social media post, he wrote it was a "heartbreaking time" for the community and that they needed to "rise up" against the "scourge" of drug dealers.
"We prayed for everyone in our community who are being seduced and destroyed by drugs. We prayed also for drug dealers that the Spirit of God will give them a glimpse of eternity in hell in the hope it would turn them away from their death trade," he wrote on Facebook.
"May we not only show compassion towards families that have lost loved ones in this manner, but may we also have the boldness to rise up as a united community to end this death trade in our midst."
Dr George O'Neill, a Belfast GP who is also chair of the charity Addiction NI, said prescription and illegal drugs had overtaken alcohol as the substances of abuse among their referrals.
He also warned of the accessibility of the drugs, with users buying illegal pills on the internet and getting them delivered to their homes.
"When our charity was first set up the vast majority of referrals were presenting with alcohol problems. But now people are taking a number of different drugs together and in combination they stop you breathing. People go to sleep and do not wake up," he said.