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BINGE 0F DEATH; A barman drinks himself comatose as his pals laugh and take snaps. Hours later he is dead. Today Stuart Foster's dad releases these chilling pictures of his son's last moments as a warning on the dangers of binge drinking.

Byline: By MARION SCOTT

THIS shocking CCTV footage shows the final minutes of a barman who drank himself to death by downing the equivalent of 17 pints of lager in two hours.

The chilling pictures of Stuart Foster's last moments were released by his sickened dad Willie to warn about the dangers of binge drinking.

The film shows colleagues at the Cavendish nightclub laughing at Stuart's comatose body, taking pictures of him slumped on the floor and repeatedly pouring water over his head to try to revive him.

He is seen being bundled from the nightclub in Tollcross, Edinburgh, into a colleague's car where he died alone from alcoholic poisoning.

Willie, 55, of Kelso said: "If seeing these pictures stops one more death from binge drinking, our sonwon't have died in vain.

"We had to watch CCTV images of Stuart dying before our eyes. No parent should have to endure that.

"We pray these images send out a message to nightclubs, pubs and the licensing authorities who police them, to ensure no one else dies.

"Bar staff and management need to be far more vigilant to stop customers drinking themselves to death." The 27-year-old barman's binge started when he came off duty at 1am.

A fatal accident inquiry at Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard he downed sambuca, alcopops, lager and spirits.

He was almost six times the drink-driving limit.

Professor David Harrison, of Edinburgh University, told the court Stuart's life could have been saved with medical attention. But his colleagues began making fun of him as he slumped just after 3am.

And barman Chris Harvey is shown on the CCTV footage taking seven pictures of Stuart on his mobile phone.

Club manager David Pennycook, a trained first aider, even walked off to play a fruit machine as Stuart lay on the floor in a stupor.

Willie said: "If David Pennycook had called an ambulance for our son, he would still be with us today. The callous disregard for our son's safety must send chills into any parent's heart.

"How many others in clubs and pubs across Scotland could find themselves in the same danger?

"Stuart was a larger than life character. He was a real party animal.

"But we heard in evidence that up to 80 per cent of the Cavendish's staff would binge drink when they finished work.

"Binge drinking is becoming part of our culture. I don't believe young people fully appreciate that what happened to Stuart can happen to any one of them."

The club had its licence suspended for three months after Stuart's death. It has now been renamed Lava and Ignite.

Owners Luminar declined to comment. But their former licensing director Steve Dennis, 61, told theFAI they had changed the way they monitored drinking.

Staff now inform management about customers buying large amounts, ask customers to consider what they are doing or ask them to leave the premises.

Stuart's mother Margaret, 56, said: "Stuart's death was just so needless, I don't think wewill ever get over the loss."

Sheriff Katherine Mackie has yet to give a verdict.

'If these pictures stop one more death from binge drinking, Stuart won't have died in vain'

DAD WILLIE FOSTER

SUNDAY EMAIL

m.scott@sundaymail.co.uk

CAPTION(S):

Tragedy: Party animal Stuart was left to die in a pal's car after marathon booze session; 03:01AM Stuart, wearing a baseball cap, can be seen in the bottom right-hand corner of the CCTV footage. He is drinking with staff who have finished work at the Cavendish Club. In just over two hours, Stuart downs the equivalent of 17 pints of lager.; 04:23AM Stuart's comatose body slides on to the floor. Harvey pours a huge jug of cold water over him but there is no reaction from the unconscious man. First aider Pennycook remains on his perch at the bar watching the goings-on.; 04:33AM After several attempts to get Stuart up from the floor, Simnett and Wishart manage to pull him to his feet and struggle to get him out of the club. The duo half-drag and half-carry him to the door, still unaware of how serious the situation has become.; 04:04AM One member of staff places a jacket over Stuart's head as another five colleagues at the table enjoy a good laugh at his expense. All seem oblivious to the fact he is now slipping into a comatose condition and carry on chatting, laughing and joking.; 04:21AM Bar worker Chris Harvey uses his mobile phone to take pictures of Stuart lying slumped in his chair. Manager David Pennycook, who is trained to deal with drunkenness, sits on the bar swinging his legs. He fails to call for an ambulance which doctors say could have saved Stuart.; 04:25AM Harvey fails to realise the seriousness of the situation and again whips out his mobile to take photographs of Stuart covered with water and still unresponsive. Again Pennycook does not move off the bar to come to the aid of the helpless bar worker.; 04:32AM Bar supervisor Rachael Simnett, who was Stuart's flatmate, has also thrown water over him with no reaction. Simnett decides he needs to bemoved and she and fellowworker Richard Wishart struggle to lift Stuart from the floor where he has lain unconscious for almost 10 minutes.; 04:35AM As he is manhandled out of the door by his colleagues, tragic Stuart is sick inside the door of the staff entrance. From this moment his chance of survival is halved - even if medical attention is called - because he has inhaled vomit into his lungs.; 04:36AM Wishart bundles Stuart into Simnett's car and she drives off. Unable to rouse him or move him from the vehicle, she leaves him lying in the car as his life ebbs away. He is found dead just after 11am and rigor mortis has already set in showing he had been dead for several hours.
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Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jun 17, 2007
Words:986
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