Woman avoids drink spiking after white tablet spotted ‘fizzing’ in her vodka lemonade on night out

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A pub-goer believes she narrowly avoided being a ‘spiking’ victim – after her vigilant friend spotted a mystery white ‘tablet’ fizzing in her drink before she took a sip.

Pension adviser Rachel Cullen, 24, was on a night out with her colleague Sophie Luke, 21, on August 28 and ordered a round of vodka, lime and lemonades in The Angel JD Wetherspoons pub in Basingstoke, Hampshire.

After standing at the bar ‘for a minute’ after receiving her drinks, Rachel took them to where the 21-year-old was sitting and placed them on the table.

Sophie was about to put the glass to her lips when Rachel spotted the drink was ‘fizzing’ more than usual. On closer inspection Rachel spotted a small white pill nestled at the bottom of Sophie’s glass and quickly reported it to staff.

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Sophie Luke, 21, a pension adviser from Basingstoke, was about to take a sip of her vodka lime and lemonade before her friend spotted the tablet fizzing away – as the friends enjoyed a night out in Basingstoke

The mystery white tablet spotted by Rachel Cullen in her friend Sophie's drink was fizzing for 10 minutes - Rachel admits that pre-pandemic she was 'careless' with her drinking but is now warning others to be more vigilant

The mystery white tablet spotted by Rachel Cullen in her friend Sophie’s drink was fizzing for 10 minutes – Rachel admits that pre-pandemic she was ‘careless’ with her drinking but is now warning others to be more vigilant  

Unnerving footage shows Sophie’s drink, untouched for 10 minutes, fizzing furiously not from the mixer but the tablet dissolving.

The bar manager replaced their drinks and fitted their glasses with anti-spiking lids to avoid it happening again.

The 24-year-old is now speaking out about the experience to warn others to be vigilant when out drinking in bars and pubs.

Wetherspoons said they have reiterated to their pub team the need for vigilance and that posters will be displayed on the premises advising customers to be wary.

Rachel, from Basingstoke, said: ‘It’s frightening to think what could have happened.

‘As soon as we saw it’d been spiked we said, ‘oh my god, what’s just happened?’

‘We were just in complete shock. It was scary, I don’t like thinking about it, it’s just awful that it happened.

‘She didn’t touch her drink for about ten minutes, which is why it was still, and why I was able to see that it was fizzing as much as it was.’

‘Thankfully no one had drunk from it – we caught it early enough.

‘The bar manager did everything he could to help. He gave us two new drinks with those anti-spiking lids on and we checked the CCTV, but both the smoking area and the bar were in blind spots.

‘For the next 15 minutes after that I went round every table outside telling people to please watch their drinks and handing out those drink lids.’

Rachel Cullen, 24, a pension advisor from Basingstoke, is now speaking out after her friend's near miss at The Angel, a JD Wetherspoons pub in the town

Rachel Cullen, 24, a pension advisor from Basingstoke, is now speaking out after her friend’s near miss at The Angel, a JD Wetherspoons pub in the town

The pair arrived at the pub at 8pm and sat in the outdoor smoking area chatting and drinking, before Rachel went to the bar to order another round at around 9.45pm.

Sophie didn’t touch her drink straight away, and before she was able to take her first mouthful was warned about the mystery tablet in it.

After sharing the footage on social media, Rachel is now speaking out about her friend’s near-miss to highlight what happened and urge revelers to ‘watch their drinks’.

Rachel said: ‘It’s one of those things where I wasn’t immediately paying attention to what was happening with the drinks because you don’t expect it to happen.

Rachel and Sophie at The Angel on August 28, where they experienced a chilling close call after noticing a white tablet in Sophie's drink just before she took a sip

Rachel and Sophie at The Angel on August 28, where they experienced a chilling close call after noticing a white tablet in Sophie’s drink just before she took a sip 

‘I just want people to be aware and watch themselves and watch their drinks, to stop it happening and protect people in the future.

‘If I were to speak to the person who did this, I’d say ‘take a step back and look at yourself and how your actions have consequences.

‘I’d also say, ‘what if it happened to your daughter?’

‘I just personally can’t comprehend why they’d do that, I can’t understand it.

‘I’d say to people who are younger and just starting to drink and go out with their friends to just be careful – even to this day I don’t truly know my limits.

‘I’m a good example because especially before covid I would quite happily go out with my mates a lot and get pretty drunk.

‘I wouldn’t consider just how drunk I was getting and how it would affect my memory.

‘When you’ve been spiked it can be very easily perceived that you are just drunk, so it may not always be easy to spot when you’re out casually drinking with your friends.

‘I know not everywhere has those drinks lids, but if they are available then I would say try to use them as much as you can, especially if it’s a busy venue.

The anti-spiking lids provided by staff at The Angel - they provided the girls with new drinks and have said they will be more vigilant, the girls said the staff were 'very helpful' on the night

The anti-spiking lids provided by staff at The Angel – they provided the girls with new drinks and have said they will be more vigilant, the girls said the staff were ‘very helpful’ on the night

The Angel is a JD Wetherspoons in Basingstoke; staff confirmed they are happy to work with the police and will be putting up posters after the incident late last month

The Angel is a JD Wetherspoons in Basingstoke; staff confirmed they are happy to work with the police and will be putting up posters after the incident late last month

Signs your drink has been spiked

GHB and Rohypnol are the drugs of choice used on victims and are the ones most commonly found in date-rape cases. 

Signs you’ve been spiked can include feeling hazy, memory loss, feeling ‘really drunk’ after only one drink, blurred vison and feeling sick.

People are also being ‘spiked by injection’ which can mean that  you suddenly feel unwell. 

You may or may not notice a quick pinch on your arm at the injection point, especially in a busy club. 

‘I know binge-drinking has become quite ingrained in our culture in England, but just be careful with your drinks.

‘I wouldn’t say don’t have fun, just be aware of your surroundings and who you’ve got around you.’

Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said: ‘We were made aware by a customer that there had been a foreign object in her drink which appeared to be some form of tablet.

‘The drink was immediately replaced and covers for her and her friend’s drinks were provided.

‘We reviewed CCTV both of the drink at the bar and whilst on the customer’s table but could not see if it had been interfered with in any way.

‘We are happy to cooperate with the police in any investigation.

‘We have reiterated to our pub team the need for vigilance and posters will be displayed on the premises advising customers to be aware of any suspicious behaviour around their drinks.

‘Drinks covers are available for customers on request.’

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