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Briton on trial in liquid cocaine death

  |   April 8, 2010 at 4:04 PM
LONDON, April 8 (UPI) -- An alleged drug trafficker is on trial in London for the death of a cabbie who unwittingly drank liquid cocaine given him by a passenger who thought it was rum.

Reputed drug trafficker Martin Newman, 49, is on trial for manslaughter in the 2009 death of Lascell Malcolm, The Sun reported Thursday.

Malcolm had been given the bottle by Martin Lawrence, who allegedly had been given two bottles by Newman, who had said he was over his baggage limit, as they prepared to return to the United Kingdom from St. Lucia, The Sun said.

Lawrence was to have returned the bottles to Newman upon landing but Newman was delayed by a baggage search and Lawrence had to catch a flight to Switzerland, so he gave a bottle to a friend, Antoinette Corlis.

Corlis caught a ride with Malcolm, also a friend, and gave him what she thought was rum when he refused payment.

The father of two died the next day after having a drink of the powerful liquid drug. A nephew and a friend who also tasted the liquid noticed it didn't taste right were hospitalized and survived.

A prosecutor told South London's Croydon Crown Court, "A spoonful could kill anyone."

Newman denies any culpability.

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