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Teen killed by biggest ever dose of 'Dr Death' drug; GYM INSTRUCTOR TOOK 150 TIMES MORE THAN PREVIOUS VICTIMS.

Byline: PAUL BYRNE paul.byrne@mirror.co.uk

A DOCTOR'S son died after taking the biggest ever dose of a party drug dubbed Dr Death.

Travis Barber, 19, had almost 150 times the amount of PMA in his system compared to previous victims.

The ecstasy-type pills are believed to have claimed more than 20 lives in the UK this year, including a girl of 16.

An inquest heard gym instructor Travis was experimenting with the drug when he went berserk. He tore down curtains and turned over a dining room table before collapsing with his fists and teeth clenched.

Police at first feared he had been murdered after he was found with multiple injuries in his wrecked family home. Two bags, including pink powder and two part tablets, were later discovered in his sports bag.

After the hearing his mum, Dr Louise Barber, 37, warned other youngsters about the dangers of drugs.

She said: "I would say, 'Just don't do it - it's like playing Russian roulette with your life'." She added: "You think when you are young it will never happen to you, but it does." Travis trained as a lifeguard before becoming a fitness trainer. He took steroids to bulk up his muscles and confessed to his mother he had been experimenting with drugs including cannabis, amphetamines and ecstasy.

Dr Barber told the inquest: "He didn't say that he was taking them regularly just that he had experimented. We talked about the things that he had tried and experimented with.

"I asked him to promise me that he would not take ecstasy again. He did say he wouldn't."

She found Travis dead at their home in February. Under his bed were drugs and paraphernalia, including cannabis and the needles he had been using to inject steroids.

His friend Jack Moore said days before his death Travis, from Salford, Greater Manchester, had shown him heart shaped tablets in a snap bag and a powdered substance in another bag. He added: "He spoke about it in a casual way, to go out and have fun with. He was intrigued by them and the different types of them." Travis's girlfriend Hayley Chaddock told the hearing in Bolton: "We had a conversation about different drugs he had tried, he named a few things. He took out a plastic bag with some tablets in.

"One was like a pink heart shape, another was a blue star. He didn't take any when he was with me. I wasn't telling him off, but I didn't agree."

Consultant forensic toxicologist Julie Evans said: "We found a concentration of 29.2mg per litre, the highest ever seen in a blood sample including fatalities. Typically we see from 0.2mg to 4.9mg."

She added: "The onset in PMA is slower. You don't get the effects when you should, so you take more. You think the drugs haven't worked and are at risk of an accidental overdose."

In a narrative verdict, Deputy Coroner Mr Alan Walsh described Travis's death as "a grave tragedy for a young man with great potential".

In May, the death of Ellie Jones, 16, from Warrington, Cheshire, was linked to PMA - para-methoxyamphetamine - also known as pink ecstasy, chicken powder or chicken yellow.

I'd say to young people, 'Don't do it.. it's like Russian roulette' TRAVIS' MUM DR LOUISE BARBER

CAPTION(S):

POLICE PROBE Family home where Travis was found dead

TRAGEDY Travis wanted to experiment
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 19, 2013
Words:570
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