Journalist ‘died after taking anxiety drug


Maxwell Bates-Spiers inquest: Journalist ‘died after taking anxiety drug’

  • 7 January 2019
Max Spiers
Image captionMr Bates-Spiers had asked a friend to buy an anxiety drug for him while on holiday in Cyprus, the inquest heard

A journalist who dealt in conspiracy theories died after taking an over-the-counter anxiety drug during a stay in Poland, an inquest has heard.

Maxwell Bates-Spiers, 39, from Kent, died in July 2016 at the Warsaw home of a woman he had earlier met at an environmental conference in the city.

Monika Duval told the inquest that Mr Bates-Spiers had taken the Turkish form of Xanax on the day he died.

Polish prosecutors viewed the death as being “from natural causes”.

A report from the Polish prosecutor’s office (PPO) “excluded the participation of further persons”.

But it also said Ms Duval had “fulfilled” Mr Bates-Spiers’ request to buy a surgery’s “entire stock” of the anxiety drug during a holiday in Cyprus.

The hearing, in Sandwich, was told the PPO report described Mr Bates-Spiers, from Canterbury, as a journalist “dealing with the topics of conspiracy theories and paranormal phenomena”.

Max SpiersImage copyrightREX FEATURES
Image captionPolish prosecutors said Mr Bates-Spiers was a journalist who dealt with conspiracy theories

She had bought up to 10 boxes – about £315 worth – of the drug, which did not require a prescription, at a doctor’s surgery before they returned to her home at the end of their holiday.

The PPO said Mr Bates-Spiers “probably took 10 tablets of Turkish Xanax, at the same time explaining to Ms Duval that it was an adequate dose because its Turkish equivalent has a different dosage”.

Ms Duval said in a statement read to the inquest that he had fallen asleep on her sofa after taking the tablets, but later stopped breathing.

Ms Duval, her daughter and ambulance crews all tried to revive Mr Bates-Spiers, but he died at the scene.

The inquest continues.

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