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Navy Veteran dies after consuming cocaine-laced pear drink

DEVOTED: Royal Navy veteran Jorome Lewis

A VINCENTIAN-BORN Royal Navy veteran has died after consuming a Caribbean manufactured pear drink which had a lethal dose of cocaine.

Jorome Lewis, 33, passed away at Southampton General Hospital just hours after drinking a bottle of Pear-D.

Lewis' widow, Jayrusha Lewis, described her husband as a 'selfless and devoted family man'.

She said: “Jorome Lewis was a devoted family-oriented man with a selfless attitude to help others, and always knew the right words and advice to give.

“His exemplary conduct and actions touched the lives and hearts of many. He was a member of the Bridgemary Family Church.”

Hampshire police are investigating the possibility that the drink was used to smuggle cocaine into the UK in a liquid form.

A spokeswoman said: “It appears from police inquiries that Mr Lewis ingested a small amount of liquid in the belief he was drinking a genuine pear drink.”

A post-mortem examination was carried out on Saturday (Dec 7). The results are inconclusive and toxicology tests are being carried out.


LETHAL: Jorome Lewis died after consuming a Caribbean Manufactured pear drink which had a lethal dose of cocaine

The Food Standards Agency have rendered the product unsafe for consumption, warning that the “presence of cocaine renders the product a very serious health risk.”

The product packaging lists the manufacturer's name as S.M. Jaleel & Co Ltd, Otaheite, Trinidad.

But the company insists the Cole Cold Pear-D product was not exported to the UK and that the label was last produced in September 2013 for the local Caribbean market.

Detective Superintendent Richard Pearson, who is leading the police investigation called Operation Crab, said they are working with partner agencies to investigate the incident and to minimise any risk to the public.

He said: “Inquiries to date have not identified any further incidents or similar bottles.

“The investigation suggests that this was likely to be a rogue bottle from a consignment of drugs stored in plastic juice bottles”

He added: “If anyone finds a bottle of Pear-D juice, do not open the bottle. If sealed, the bottle is perfectly safe. Take the bottle to the nearest police station, and we will examine the contents if appropriate.”

Anyone who finds they have a bottle of Pear-D should take it to their local police station and are advised to contact the Food Standards Agency on 020 7276 8448.

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