Maidenhead student raising awareness after suspected needle spiking

Maidenhead student suspected needle spiking on night out

Sarah Buckle spoke about the incident to the Advertiser

A student from Maidenhead who suspects she was spiked with a needle on a night out has urged people to report similar incidents to the police.

Sarah Buckle woke up in hospital the next day with no memories and a bruise on her hand after going to a club in Nottingham with her university pals at the end of September.

The 19-year-old is one several woman up and down the country who have reported being spiked by needles in nightclubs, which has renewed fears for women’s safety.

The ex Newlands head girl, who lives in Maidenhead Riverside, told the Advertiser: “Friends told me in the club I stopped communicating, I was unable to talk, I started to freak out, I tried to type something on my phone and I was unable to stand up.”

Sarah was then escorted out by security, who assumed she was intoxicated and she was taken home by her friends. However in the taxi she began screaming for help, being sick and became unconscious.

Her friends took her to hospital where Sarah woke up the following morning.

She said: “I noticed my hand was really throbbing and bruising started to develop, there was a pin prick in the middle.  I had absolutely no energy but I also felt like I had 10 Red Bulls. It wasn’t like a hangover and the worst feeling was extreme memory loss.”

Sarah, who is in her second year at the University of Nottingham, said she spent 10 hours in hospital and originally thought samples taken of blood and urine would be passed onto the police. After learning they had not been, she reported the incident to the police the following day and had to take fresh samples.

Nottinghamshire Police said it had been made aware of similar incidents in the city over recent weeks.

Sarah said she thinks needle spiking is becoming more common as people are more aware how to protect their drinks on nights out.

But she has urged those who think they may have been spiked to report it.

“So many people I know have been spiked, it’s hard to report it so people don’t report it, she added.

“It’s very hard for anybody to be caught. CCTV is not going to pick up a club packed with thousands of people below shoulder height. It’s traumatic going to the police knowing they won’t be caught.

“There will always be a problem but hopefully speaking out will deter the people who are doing this, to know people are aware of it and looking out for it.”

She also urged nightclubs to search guests and scan their ID. Her ID was not scanned on the night of the incident which may make it difficult for police to investigate it.

Sarah has been speaking out about the incident on BBC and ITV news. 

A petition urging the Government to make searching guests a legal requirement has now received more than 130,000 signatures. 

Students are also planning a boycott of nightclubs next week in a call for clubs to do more to tackle spiking. 

Sarah said the incident has left her paranoid and although she has been out since she has not enjoyed it as much.

She said: “We have a right to be really terrified, I’ve not been drinking since, and I don’t feel any safer because you realise people are pushing up against you in a club, we can’t watch out for our whole bodies. It takes away the fun of going out.”

She added she would not go out now unless she was with close friends which means she had been avoiding socials in societies she is part of at University.

She said: “I don’t enjoy it nearly as much as I used to. I now wouldn’t go out with people who I didn’t know that well as you want them to take you home if something happens, have your family’s contact numbers.”

The Home Secretary has now ordered police to urgently investigate the rise of spiking in nightclubs around the country.

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