Man accused of lethally spiking date at Humberston Fitties cleared of manslaughter

Christopher Downes (left) had been accused of drugging Kim Harrop on their first date after initially meeting online. Credit: MEN

A man who was accused of spiking his date's drink with his dead partner's pain medication has been found not guilty of her manslaughter.

Christopher Downes, 53, of Hatfield, Doncaster, faced trial after Kim Harrop, 55, was found dead in his bed in Humberston Fitties after they had met online.

Ms Harrop died on 22 April 2018. She was found to have traces of oxycodone in her system.

A bottle of the powerful pain medication was found at Mr Downes' address, but he denied drugging Ms Harrop, saying it had belonged to his former girlfriend, who had died of ovarian cancer earlier that year.

Christopher Downes found Kim Harrop dead in his bed at his chalet at Humberston Fitties beach near Grimsby. Credit: MEN

A jury at Sheffield Crown Court found him not guilty of manslaughter on Friday 20 January.

Investigating officer Roger Fell from Humberside Police said after the trial: “Kim was a mother and much-loved daughter, her untimely death has caused untold distress to her family.

"The verdict of the jury in finding Downes not-guilty is one we accept. I hope, at least the trial has given Kim’s family some of the answers they have been searching for in the years since her death.”

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