Northern Ireland news

Minister asked to review law after claims five people had drinks spiked in Derry bar

Justice minister, Naomi Long has been asked to review relevant legislation following claims that five people had their drinks spiked in a Derry bar on Saturday night. Picture by Mal McCann.
Seamus McKinney

JUSTICE Minister Naomi Long has been asked to review legislation following claims that five people had their drinks “spiked” in a Derry bar.

SDLP assembly member Sinead McLaughlin called for the review following claims on social media that a woman was also targeted in a separate incident.

The issue was taken up after Derry woman Nicola Duddy raised the matter on social media on Sunday.

Ms Duddy said her daughter told her of five incidents in one bar on Saturday night. She said she personally had her drink spiked at a city centre bar in May this year. There are also concerns over a new form of spiking involving women being “jabbed” with a needle containing a drug which renders them unconscious or semi-conscious before they are sexually assaulted.

The matter has been raised in the form of a written assembly question from Ms McLaughlin to Mrs Long.

Ms McLaughlin asked whether the minister "will review legislation to increase protection for women given the reported increase in the number who have had their drinks spiked in bars, or who have been forcibly injected with drugs in ways that are intended to cause them physical harm or facilitate sexual assault".

She also asked if the minister would review legislation covering oversight, training and regulation of bar door staff given the reported increase.

Ms McLaughlin's parliamentary assistant, Paul Gosling said he was made aware of the problem when his daughter contacted him from Germany to express concern after reading reports on social media.

"As a parent I am obviously concerned as my daughters go out to socialise in bars and I want to know that they are safe. There is also worry about reports in England of women being injected in the back of their necks as they stand in crowded bars,” Mr Gosling said.

Both Ms McLaughlin and Derry Alliance councillor, Rachael Ferguson said they intended raising the issue with police.

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