More clubbers fall ill after death of Nick Bonnie from 'bad ecstasy'
MORE clubbers have fallen ill from a suspected "bad batch" of ecstasy, it has emerged, following the death of Stroud man Nick Bonnie.
Tributes are pouring in after he collapsed in a Manchester nightclub and died on a weekend trip away.
And police who arrested a man on suspicion of dealing in illegal drugs at the same club less than 24 hours later said he is now critically ill in hospital.
"There are a lot of people who are extremely upset about this – Nick was a popular guy," said former Stroud MP and Labour prospective parliamentary candidate David Drew.
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"Nick was an usher at my son Lawrence's wedding. Nick was a really nice lad. It's devastating news."
Nick, who grew up in King's Stanley and lived in Bristol with his girlfriend Leah Wilkins, died in Manchester Royal Infirmary at 4.30am on Saturday.
He'd sought medical help in the club after taking what is suspected to be ecstasy. Police are testing samples but had received reports of a "bad batch" of the Class A drug.
His mum Pauline bravely spoke to media on Sunday, in the hope that her son's death would not be in vain and would act as a warning to others not to take illegal drugs.
Four friends who were with Nick were treated in hospital after falling ill, as was a fifth clubber not connected with them.
Since the news broke of Nick's death, seven more people have told police they felt ill after taking what they believe may have been the same drug.
Then, just before midnight on Saturday, Greater Manchester Police arrested a 25-year-old man in the same club, who they suspected of dealing in illegal drugs.
Believing he had swallowed the drugs, he was taken to hospital where he is now in a "critical but stable" condition.
Chief Superintendent Mark Roberts of GMP said: "This once again highlights the dangers associated with taking illegal drugs.
"After the tragic events of Friday night it almost defies belief that drug dealers would continue to target this venue and equally that people would risk their lives by taking drugs supplied by people who have no regard whatsoever for their well being and are purely interested in making money.
"The main point to get across is you do not know what is in the drugs you are taking and the potential effects they can have.
"A number of other people had to receive treatment after taking drugs at the venue, both from the onsite medical team and at local hospitals.
"At this stage in the investigation we do not know what this man has consumed but this will form part of our enquiries."
Many tributes have been made to Nick on Facebook.
"You left footprints in the hearts of everyone's lives you touched," said Tom Ambridge. "It was a privilege knowing such a truly amazing man."
Ben Wheatley posted: "You are an amazing man Nick. Honest, funny, humble, loyal and above all one of the most positive people I've ever met.
"All my strength and hope is with your family at this time."