Published: 15:30, 04 August 2015
A man who slipped a hallucinogenic drug into a woman’s drink at a nightclub has been jailed for two-and-a-half years.
Helen Hand was unaware that Tadas Rasciauskas had spiked her drink with the drug known as N-Bomb at The Source bar in Rose Yard, Maidstone.
But a friend spotted him dropping a tablet into Miss Hand’s glass and took it away from her.
It happened in the late evening of October 5 last year, by which time the victim admitted she was “extremely drunk”. On a scale of one to 10 she put herself at 8.
Prosecutor Kieran Brand said the friend later described Miss Hand dancing alone and Rasciauskas, 25, joining her. He put his arms around her trying to dance closely.
“He appeared to lean forward and say something in her ear,” Mr Brand told Maidstone Crown Court. “He produced his right hand from his side. In his hand was a white tablet.”
The friend watched as Rasciauskas, of Rock Avenue, Gillingham, dropped the tablet - which has a similar effect to LSD - into Miss Hand’s glass.
“She went over immediately and took the glass from her,” said Mr Brand. “She said: ‘What the **** have you just put in her drink?’”
She gave the drink to a member of staff and said it had been spiked. The police were called and Rasciauskas was arrested. He had more of the tablets on him.
Mr Brand said the drug was officially known as 25I-NBOMe. It had strong hallucinogenic effects and could cause panic attacks, distortion of time, nausea, high heart rate and increased blood pressure.
"Young people, male or female, enjoying a night out are entitled to believe they are safe. Your behaviour upsets that theory..." - Judge Michael Carroll
Jessica Sobey, defending, said but for the intervention of the friend it was difficult to speculate on what could have happened.
Rasciauskas, who admitted attempting to administer and possessing the drug, had taken it himself and been drinking.
“He hadn’t formed an intention,” said Miss Sobey. “It was a spontaneous, stupid action. He struggles to understand why he acted in that way.
“He has stopped going out. It has been a shock to him. But for these offences, he was a responsible member of the community.”
Miss Sobey added Rasciauskas would lose his job if sent to prison and associate with people who would not have a positive effect on him.
Judge Michael Carroll said Rasciauskas intended the drug to have some effect on the victim.
“People do not do things for no reason whatsoever, even if they are drunk,” he said.
He told Rasciauskas: “You had never seen her before in your life. She had been drinking, as she was entitled to do. She was vulnerable. You took advantage of that vulnerability.
“You decided in your drunken and drug-induced state of disinhibition it would be a good idea to try to administer this N-Bomb substance for whatever reason.
“This was a deliberate premeditated act. If she (the friend) hadn’t seen you do it and she consumed this drug and complained afterwards, everybody probably would have said: You have just had too much to drink.”
"This is a significant sentence for a first time offender, and also a reminder to anyone out drinking to be on guard and ensure your drink isn’t being spiked..." - Det Com Simon Powell
The judge added: “It’s your own fault. Young people, male or female, enjoying a night out are entitled to believe they are safe. Your behaviour upsets that theory.
“I take the view this is an extremely serious form of assault only mitigated by two things - your plea of guilty and that it was an attempt.”
After sentencing, Detective Constable Simon Powell said: "Rasciauskas spiked the drink of a woman who he had never met before and was simply out for the night enjoying herself.
"The consequences of consuming NBOMBe can be potentially fatal and it was only the alertness and quick thinking of a friend that prevented the victim from swallowing the dangerous drug Rasciauskas had placed in her drink.
"This is a significant sentence for a first time offender, and also a reminder to anyone out drinking to be on guard and ensure your drink isn’t being spiked.
"Remember to keep your drink in your hand and do not leave your drink unattended at any time.
"Put your thumb over the opening if you are drinking from a bottle and keep an eye on your friends' drinks. It is also important to never accept a drink from anyone you do not know or trust."
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