Student who died after taking MDMA in Newcastle named as ‘one-of-a-kind’ friend

Tributes have poured in for a "one-of-a-kind" teenager who was one of four young people suspected to have died in drug incidents in Newcastle over the weekend.

The 18-year-old has been named locally as Mark Johnston.

Mark had been with friends at an upstairs flat in Washington, Tyne and Wear, during the early hours of Saturday morning.

Police believe he consumed a quantity of MDMA and feel serious ill at 3.50pm.

Two women, believed to be family members, rushed to the scene, reports the Mirror Online.

Neighbours described their distress after one briefly got into the ambulance with Mark.

Tributes have since been emerged online with one saying: "RIP Mark Johnson one of a kind."

Another says: "Rest easy my friend. You will be missed."

Mark became the third of the young people in the North East to die as a result of taking drugs on the weekend, before a fourth later died as well.

His death has left neighbours around the flat furious and devastated.

  • Heartbroken mum of university student who died 'after taking drugs' pays tribute

One tenant said: "For the past 18 months it's a horrible place to live because there has been nothing but noise, drunkenness and disruption to everyone's lives.

"There was a party there in the early hours of Saturday, it looked as though there were a lot of people in the flat, a mixed group of young men and women.

"Then suddenly in the afternoon ambulances started turning up and a young lad was carried out."

The distress of the two women, believed to be Mark's relatives, will stay with her for a long time.

"It was absolutely awful," she said.

"He was no more than a boy, a young lad, and he's lost his life needlessly. I feel so sorry for his family, they were distraught. Anyone who saw that happening wouldn't go near drugs again in their life."

  • Heartbreaking tributes paid to student, 18, found dead at university halls in Newcastle

Mark was a former pupil at Biddick School in Washington and only turned 18 during the summer. He was described by a member of his family as a "kind, nice, funny young lad."

Officers investigating the tragic deaths of four young people at the weekend have made an 11th arrest on suspicion of drugs-related offences.

Northumbria Police said inquiries were ongoing into the deaths of two 18-year-old women, who were found unresponsive in the same Newcastle University student accommodation, and two men believed to have taken MDMA in the city, and Washington.

The two women were first year students who had been in the city for less than 48 hours, and were suspected of taking ketamine.

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Jeni Larmour, one of the women, has been described by her former school where she was deputy headgirl, as a "model pupil".

The Royal School in Armagh, Northern Ireland, said: "We have no doubt that, given her academic ability and personality, Jeni had a bright future ahead of her and we are saddened that it has been so suddenly cut short."

Ms Larmour's mother worked at Ulster Carpets, a manufacturer in Co Armagh. A company statement said: "This is a private family matter and our thoughts are with them at this distressing time.

"Sandra Larmour is a long-standing employee with Ulster Carpets. Her colleagues are shocked and deeply saddened by the news of her daughter Jeni and the Company will support Sandra in whatever way we can."

Over the weekend, officers confirmed an 18-year-old from Washington, Tyne and Wear – who was not a student – and a 21-year-old from Northumbria University died after they were suspected of separately taking MDMA.

Chief inspector Steve Wykes urged any students who have illegal drugs to dispose of them safely, either by contacting a university welfare officer or by visiting their local police station.

He said: "We are all still in shock at what has been an incredibly sad and difficult weekend. Public safety is our absolute priority and we are working closely with our partners at the universities and in the local authorities to ensure all students and everyone living in our local communities are fully supported at this time."

Anyone with information is asked to call 101.

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