Jeni Larmour inquest: Student expresses 'guilt' over taking drugs with Newcastle University fresher

Jeni Larmour died after taking ketamine.

A student has expressed his feeling of "guilt" after taking ketamine with a high-achieving 18-year-old who died after using it on her first day at Newcastle University.

Kavir Kalliecharan, now 20, was filmed saying "this is how we do it in England", before he and Jeni Larmour took the tranquilliser in his room in halls.

Ms Larmour had only arrived in Newcastle from Northern Ireland, that day.

She was found lifeless on his bedroom floor on 3 October 2020, having suffered an adverse reaction to a combination of alcohol and ketamine.

Newcastle Coroner's Court heard she had about two-and-a-half times the legal drink-drive limit of alcohol in her blood at the time.

The amount of ketamine she took may not normally have been fatal, but coupled with alcohol, it caused her nervous system to shut down, coroner Karen Dilks was told at the hearing on Tuesday 11 October.

Mr Kalliecharan, who admitted possessing drugs following her death, told the inquest Ms Larmour supplied him with ketamine that night.

He has repeatedly denied supplying the drug to the former Royal Armagh School deputy head girl.

Mr Kalliecharan, who is still a student but no longer at Newcastle University, gave several hours of evidence to the hearing, attended by Ms Larmour's parents Sandra and David.

He denied ever taking ketamine before, and explained that when he was filmed saying "I'm going to show you how we do it in England", he was trying to tell Ms Larmour that this was the English university experience.

The inquest heard there was a dispute between Mr Kalliecharan's legal team and those representing Jeni Larmour's family over a comment Ms Larmour made on camera.

Her family's barrister claimed she said: "F*** that I'm not doing two lines, I'm only doing one."

Mr Kalliecharan disputed the audio of the footage, which was not played in open court, claiming she actually said she was not going to take the drugs in two lines, but would do it in one.

He claimed that the video showed that both were equally responsible for taking ketamine and denied the footage showed him portioning out the lines, but rather it was him manoeuvring one closer to him.

The inquest heard he said after she was found lifeless: "I feel like it was my fault, I gave her too much."

He told the coroner he meant that she had taken some of the line of the drugs initially meant for him - not that he had personally given her some.

Later, asked by his barrister Richard Wright KC what emotion he meant to express when he said "fault", Mr Kalliecharan replied: "Guilt."

He explained, not in the criminal sense but "moral responsibility".

Mr Wright asked: "As a human being, do you feel guilty in a moral sense about what happened?"

The student replied: "Yes."

Park View student accommodation in Newcastle. Credit: NCJ Media

The inquest heard how seven members of the flat in Park View halls had pre-drinks as they got to know each other, then went to Points Bar in the city's Bigg Market.

Ms Larmour was not allowed entry to the pub as she had forgotten her student identification, so Mr Kalliecharan took a taxi with her back to the flat to get it.

After he used the en-suite toilet in his room, he claimed she knocked on the door.

He told the inquest: "She was holding two bags and said one had ketamine in and offered if I would like to have some."

He said he sniffed a line by covering a nostril and immediately felt dizzy and went to the toilet to vomit.

Ms Larmour had been lying on his bed and came in to check on him, he said.

He added: "I remember throwing up and then passing out in the bathroom."

When he woke up at about 5am the next day, he found Ms Larmour lying face down on the floor in his room.

"I tried to wake her up, I thought she had passed out, that's when I went to get other members of the flat to help," he told the hearing.

"I told them we had taken ketamine, I said I thought she was in a 'k-hole' which is passing out from taking ketamine."

He said he had learned that expression at school in Leeds.

Earlier, Ms Larmour's mother, Sandra Larmour, paid tribute to her, saying she flourished at school "with her huge personality, confidence and humour".

Mrs Larmour said there were "no half measures" and her daughter was a "do it now and do it to perfection person".

She added: "Her death has left a huge void that will never be filled.

"It is a huge loss to me, her father David, brother Daniel and our extended family. I also believe it is a huge loss to Newcastle University and the planning world she would have joined."

The inquest continues.