Mothers had to identify bodies of daughters after drug-fuelled deaths

Two mothers were forced to identify bodies of their 18-year-old daughters within hours of dropping them off at Newcastle University after they died following ‘drugs-fuelled halls parties’

  • Stephanie Sillifant and Jeni Larmour died within a day of each other last month 
  • Miss Sillifant had been enrolled on a course to study medicine
  • Miss Larmour was beginning a degree in architecture and urban planning 

The mothers of two university students who are believed to have died after taking drugs were forced to identify their bodies hours after they dropped them off for Freshers’ Week.

Stephanie Sillifant and Jeni Larmour, both 18, were due to begin their studies at Newcastle University when they died within a day of each other last month.

Miss Sillifant had been enrolled on a course to study medicine, while Miss Larmour was beginning a degree in architecture and urban planning.

They were both living in the same university halls of residence and had been in the city a matter of hours before they died.

A third student Nathaniel Pavlovic, who had returned to Northumbria University for his third year of study, also died over the weekend of October 3 and 4.


The mothers of Newcastle university students Stephanie Sillifant (left) and Jeni Larmour, who are believed to have died after taking drugs were forced to identify their bodies hours after they dropped them off for Freshers’ Week

Newcastle Coroner’s Court heard inquests into the deaths of all three were to be adjourned in light of a police investigation.

Miss Larmour, from Newtonhamilton, County Armagh, was believed to have taken class B drug ketamine before she died on October 3, police said.

She was the former deputy head girl at the Royal School, Armagh, described by teachers as ‘a model pupil’ and ‘was blessed with a beautiful singing voice’.

Ketamine was also found at the student flat where Miss Sillifant, from Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire died although no reference to drugs was made at the inquest which opened on Monday.

Police suspect Mr Pavlovic, from Halifax, West Yorkshire, took class A drug MDMA at his university accommodation in Newcastle’s city centre.

He was taken to the Royal Victoria Infirmary where he died on October 4.

Senior coroner for Newcastle Karen Dilks said: ‘[Mr Pavlovic] was a third year student at Northumbria University and initial indications are that on the evening of October 3, with others he had been drinking and it is suspected that he consumed a substance yet to be identified.

A third student Nathaniel Pavlovic, who had returned to Northumbria University for his third year of study, also died over the weekend of October 3 and 4

Miss Larmour, from Newtonhamilton, County Armagh, was believed to have taken class B drug ketamine before she died on October 3, police said

Ketamine was also found at the student flat where Miss Sillifant, from Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire died although no reference to drugs was made at the inquest which opened on Monday 

‘Stephanie was 18-years-old and a student who was just beginning her studies at Newcastle University, arriving in Newcastle on October 2, 2020. Nicola Sillifant identified her body.

‘It is believed she, with others in the accommodation she was living in, consumed alcohol and it is also known that Stephanie did have underlying health issues.

‘Investigations are ongoing to establish the cause of her death.

‘Sandra Larmour identified the body of Jeni shortly after death. The circumstances are Jeni was 18-years-old and that she was a student at Newcastle University.

‘She was believed, on the evening of October 2 to have had consumed alcohol and socialised with others from the flat in which she was residing.

‘It is believed she may have taken a substance yet to be identified.

‘Investigations are ongoing to establish the precise cause of death.’

A fourth person, 18-year-old Mark Johnston died on October 3 after he took MDMA at an address in Washington, Tyne and Wear. 

Miss Larmour was the former deputy head girl at the Royal School, Armagh, described by teachers as ‘a model pupil’ and ‘was blessed with a beautiful singing voice’ 

Senior coroner for Newcastle Karen Dilks said Miss Larmour’s mother identified her body shortly after her death 

He is thought to have suffered a cardiac arrest and died.

Mr Johnston’s inquest will be opened separately by the Sunderland Coroner.

Neighbours to the property where Mr Johnston suffered the heart attack said his relatives were seen in the street screaming ‘he’s dead’.

Northumbria Police have arrested a total of 11 people in connection with the four deaths.

A spokesman said: ‘Enquiries into the deaths of two Newcastle university students, both aged 18, a Northumbria University student aged 21, and an 18-year old man from Washington remain ongoing.

‘A number of arrests were made in connection with the deaths over the weekend, with three men aged between 18 and 21 released on police bail.

Police suspect Mr Pavlovic, from Halifax, West Yorkshire, took class A drug MDMA at his university accommodation in Newcastle’s city centre

‘Seven other individuals were arrested and subsequently released under investigation and [two days later] officers confirmed another male aged 30, had also been arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply Class A drugs. He has since been released on police bail.’

A Northumbria University spokesperson: ‘This is a tragic event and our thoughts are with Nathaniel’s family and friends, to whom we continue to offer any support we can, at this difficult time.’

The inquests will be resumed on a date to be confirmed.

A message written by Miss Sillifant’s mother Sandra and posted to an online tributes page read: ‘Hi Sweetie, Just to let you know that I love you and miss you so much.

‘I can’t imagine my life without you in it but I do believe that you were taken from us because you are needed elsewhere. I have no doubt that I will see you again it just probably won’t be for a while.

‘Go be the remarkable person I always knew you were going to be. I’m so very proud of you and I will always be in awe of everything you achieved. 

‘All my love now and forever, Mum XxXx’ 


A fourth person, 18-year-old Mark Johnston died on October 3 after he took MDMA at an address in Washington, Tyne and Wear. Neighbours to the property where Mr Johnston suffered a heart attack said his relatives were seen in the street screaming ‘he’s dead’

Source: Read Full Article