Layla Bartlett has shared videos which she says show her after being spiked. (Caution: some viewers may find the pictures distressing)
A woman who believes she was spiked with a needle while on a night out has shared videos showing the effect it had on her.
Layla Bartlett had been on a night out in Chelmsford on Friday and believes she was drugged with a syringe in the Slug and Lettuce bar.
The 20-year-old said she can only remember having one cocktail before she began to feel dizzy and sick, and quickly went into spasms.
Her friends phoned an ambulance, but when they were told it would take at least two hours before paramedics got there, they instead called Ms Bartlett's mother, who came to pick her up.
The videos that show Ms Bartlett gurning and contorting and making strange groaning sounds were taken by her mother while they waited for attention in A&E at Broomfield Hospital. She appears distressed and is close to tears at one point.
Essex Police said officers were investigating, while the owners of Slug and Lettuce said they would be cooperating fully and were willing to supply CCTV footage if requested.
Ms Bartlett said she could not remember anything about the evening, but that her mother showed her the video when she came around and she was disturbed at what she saw.
"I just couldn't believe was I was seeing, really," she told ITV News Anglia. "It really shocked me and made me feel like I was just in a bad dream and couldn't wake up.
"I had no memory at all of the night and I was so confused about what must have happened.
"My friends were with me the entire time and my mum was with me in A&E and what you can see in the video is what I was like for six hours. Like that, or worse.
"I just couldn't believe it. I knew I hadn't taken anything and I'd only had one cocktail so I knew someone had done this to me. You hear of it happening to other people but you never think it's going to happen to you."
Ms Bartlett said she and her friends had been in Slug and Lettuce for around an hour and had gone to the toilet when she "came over all funny".
"And I just came over all funny. I was sick, my eyes rolling to the back of my head and I was dizzy," she said.
"That's when my friends tried to get me out and they were crying for help but some police officers just walked past us and didn't even bother to help."
At 6am, Ms Bartlett came around and noticed a pain and a small mark on her arm.
She said: "It was a strange experience - I can only describe it as like I was put back into my body. I just suddenly came back to normal after all those hours.
"I was in hospital, in a wheelchair with no memory of how I got there.
"A doctor was touching my arm and I felt a pain in it. It felt similar to when I had the vaccine.
"A heavy, achey feeling. That's when I looked at it and noticed there was a mark. That's why I think someone spiked me with a needle."
She and her mother reported it to Essex Police the following day, who took a urine sample and began an investigation.
A spokesperson for the Slug and Lettuce said: "Guest safety is our priority and we take any allegations of drink spiking very seriously.
"We are in contact with the guest and her family and we will fully assist the police with their inquiries including any requests for CCTV.”
In 2021, concern over needle spiking spread after several reports emerged from women who said they found small puncture wounds after nights out in clubs and bars.
They also reported symptoms in line with being spiked with drugs such as memory loss, drowsiness and difficulty speaking.
Despite this, a Parliamentary inquiry into spiking in January last year heard that the Security Industry Authority (SIA) which regulates the UK’s private security sector including night clubs, had "no intelligence of spiking by needle".
A spokesperson for Essex Police said: "We are currently investigating a report of a spiking, which is alleged to have occurred at a venue in Chelmsford town centre on Friday night.
"The report came into us around 5pm on Saturday and contact has been made with the victim following the allocation of an investigation. Inquiries are ongoing.
"We understand how alarming these reports can be and we can assure the public that we are taking this extremely seriously.
"We encourage anyone who believes they have been spiked to contact us as quickly as possible on 101 or in an emergency call 999."
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