A 48-year-old father who weighs 22 stone has told of how he collapsed in the street three times after he was allegedly spiked by injection during a night out celebrating a friend’s birthday.
Craig Campbell passed out in the street three times while in Newcastle city centre last month after having four or five pints, despite saying it takes him 16 beers to get drunk.
The Darlington, County Durham dad, who was celebrating a friend’s 50th birthday, realised after collapsing he had a bruise and puncture mark on his stomach and a hole in the shirt he had been wearing in exactly the same spot.
It comes after a surge in ‘spiking by injection’ cases, with nearly 300 cases reported across the UK in the last two months alone.
Mr Campbell has warned ‘this can happen to anyone’, adding, ‘there’s going to be a young person thinking they’re going to have a good night and they won’t come home, and that makes me sick to my stomach.’
Craig Campbell, 48, has told of how he collapsed in the street three times after he was allegedly spiked by injection during a night out celebrating a friend’s birthday
Mr Campbell, who was out in Newcastle city centre celebrating a friend’s 50th birthday, realised after collapsing he had a bruise (pictured) on his stomach
The Darlington, County Durham, dad also noticed a puncture mark and a hole in the shirt (pictured) he had been wearing in the same spot as his bruise
Mr Campbell, who owns a van conversion business, contacted the hospital as soon as he realised he had been spiked.
He was given a course of antibiotics as a precaution and now faces an agonising wait until he can get a HIV and HEP B test in three months time.
Northumbria Police confirmed they were investigating the incident. Campbell has been advised not to reveal the exact location of the suspected spiking, but it was a busy city centre bar.
Mr Campbell said: ‘You would never expect this to happen to someone like me. I had only drank four or five pints of Guinness, which is about four per cent. It usually takes me 16 pints to get drunk. There is absolutely no way I could possibly have collapsed as a result of that amount of alcohol.
‘You usually hear of young lasses being targeted, not blokes in their 40s. These people need to realise they are going to end up killing someone.
He added: ‘I’m 6ft1inch. If the drug had been been injected into a seven or eight stone girl she would’ve died. I may never know what’s been pumped into my body, which is incredibly stressful.
‘A man who looked as though he was in his 30s bumped into me on the dance floor and I didn’t think anything of it but within 20 minutes I collapsed and I can only remember bits from there on. It was only about 7pm.
‘Apparently I collapsed again on Grey Street, in the city centre and two people helped me which I don’t recall. My wife still says it was the worst night of my life. She said she thought she was going to lose everything. I was ill for five days.’
Mr Campbell contacted the hospital as soon as he realised he had been spiked. Northumbria Police confirmed they were investigating the incident
Mr Campbell realised after collapsing he had a bruise and puncture mark on his stomach and a hole in the shirt he had been wearing in exactly the same spot
In recent months there has been a huge rise in the number of spiking cases reported to the police. In response, nightclubs and bars have been boycotted and demonstrations have taken place at more than 40 university towns and cities across the UK.
The Girls Night In movement in October saw women and men avoid going out to bars and clubs in Manchester, Nottingham and Bristol as they demanded better safety measures.
Concerns over possible needle spiking were first raised in October, although opinion is divided on how likely it is that needles are being widely used in place of drink spiking.
Some spiking victims have reported feeling pinches on their arms in clubs and later developing bruises, prompting fears they had been assaulted with needles.
National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for drugs, Deputy Chief Constable Jason Harwin, said police forces continue to work with pubs and clubs to increase searches and guidance to staff.
A crowd of people gathered in Manchester in October to protest in a bid to urge venues to do more to protect customers from being spiked
Mr Campbell added: ‘I had a week where I sat on what had happened and it was playing on my mind. I bumped into someone when I was out last Saturday and I had a bad reaction. I panicked, and that’s when I knew it had impacted me.
‘I only told eight people out of pure embarrassment. My mate suggested recording a video of myself speaking about it, which is what I did and that’s how it ended up on Facebook.
‘I’ve had some fantastic feedback, messages from mums and dads thanking me for doing it.
‘Mums who have daughters in hospital have contacted me. They say having someone who’s happy to stick up for them has given them peace. That’s why I wanted to share my story, so people in my demographic are aware of what can happen.
‘I’m not trying to scare anyone or stop people from going out, because the only people who win then are those sticking needles in people. It’s simply to raise awareness.’
A spokesperson for Northumbria Police said: ‘We can confirm we have received a report from a man concerned he had been spiked with an injection while on a night out in Newcastle on November 6.
‘An investigation has been launched and enquiries into this incident are ongoing.
‘We proactively police the night-time economy and as part of Operation Cloak, have dedicated officers on patrol to protect the vulnerable and target anyone looking to commit offences.
‘We also work with our partners and with licensees to ensure the city remains one the safest places to enjoy a night out. Anyone with concerns is asked to get in touch with us as soon as possible.’