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09th Nov 2022

New mother dies after taking cocaine on first night out after birth

Charlie Herbert

She had not drank alcohol in nine months

A mother died after taking cocaine on her first night out following the birth of her son, a court has heard.

Rebecca Tollan, 23, passed away at a house in Bellshill, Lanarkshire, in July 2019.

Barry McAuley, 40, and Martin Stewart, 34, went on trial at the High Court in Glasgow on Monday charged with the culpable homicide of Tollan.

The pair are accused of “recklessly and unlawfully” giving the “potentially lethal” class A drug to Tollan on July 14 and 15 in 2019 at the Railway Tavern pub in Motherwell, Lanarkshire, and at the house in Bellshill. They deny the accusations, the MailOnline reports.

Tollan’s sister-in-law, Pamela Tollan, was the first witness in the trial, and told the court how the women had gone out on July 14 and ended up in a beer garden at the Railway Tavern.

The two women went to sit with McAuley and Stewart after they sent drinks over to their table. The court heard that Rebecca asked the men if they had any “stuff” and that Pamela “knew exactly what she meant” and that Barry then gave Pamela “a wee bag.”

Pamela later needed to visit the loo and her sister-in-law joined her, where she took cocaine before they returned outside to the men.

They all then went to the house in Bellshill, where Rebecca took more of the drug. Pamela told the court she saw four lines of cocaine on a plate, and when she returned from a trip to the bathroom there was only one left. She believes her sister-in-law took more cocaine after this.

Rebecca Tollan passed away at a house in Bellshill, Lanarkshire, in July 2019 (Facebook)

‘I told her to stop because you do not need it’

When asked if she was concerned by how much of the drug Rebecca was taking, Pamela Tollan told jurors:

“Becky was her own person. No matter how much you told her, she would not listen.

“I did tell her: ‘You do not need it…you are having a good time’. I told her to stop because you do not need it.”

Eventually they called a taxi to get home, but before it arrived Rebecca “started shaking” with blood coming from her mouth. Although medics arrived at the house and made attempts to save her, she never recovered.

The court heard that this was the first time Rebecca had gone out since giving birth in hospital. She had abstained from alcohol during her pregnancy, so this was the first time in nine months she had gone out drinking. Pamela Tollan also stated Rebecca had not taken cocaine during her pregnancy either.

Stewart, of Viewpark, North Lanarkshire, faces separate charges of being involved in the supply of cocaine and cannabis. McAuley, also of Bellshill, features on one of those cocaine charges.

The trial, before judge Lord Clark, continues.


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