A young man who died following an illegal rave during lockdown had taken a fatal drug overdose an inquest heard.
Twenty-year-old Joe Robinson, a customer services agent, tragically passed away on June 14, after attending a gathering at Daisy Nook Country Park in Oldham.
Mr Robinson died after he collapsed leaving the rave, which was attended by around 4,000 people.
In statements read out in court Mr Robinson’s friends, who attended the rave with him, described how his behaviour changed over the course of the night.
He was described as going from being “giddy and energetic” to acting “paranoid and worried” and “talking gibberish, using random words in random order and talking out of context.”
The court heard how Mr Robinson’s eyes had started to roll back into his head and how he kept “staring at the sky.”
His friends described how, after exiting the rave, they had to climb a steep hill which had been turned into a mud bath. But Joe was struggling to get up and friends described him as “having no control over his body.”
The court heard how Mr Robinson, who lived in Clayton, started thrashing about and vomited.
One friend described how Mr Robinson said: “Zombies are chasing me, just leave me to die.”
Concerned, his friends phoned emergency services and were instructed to perform CPR until the ambulance arrived.
The inquest heard how the location of the event made it very difficult for emergency services to get to him.
And despite paramedics who attended giving their best efforts to resuscitate him, he was declared dead at 5.18am.
Police told the inquest that they had been “blindsided” by the fact that other events were taking place elsewhere in the region, meaning there weren’t enough officers deployed to the Daisy Nook rave.
At the inquest, held at Stockport Coroners Court, Mr Robinson’s brother Dean Robinson, 28, said: “He was a much-loved member of the family.
“He did very well at school, had a job by the time he was 17-years-old and was very focused on being on the right path.
“He was a very passionate person, very hard working and had a lot of friends.
“He was a very sociable person and was very popular.”
The event at Daisy Nook Park was one of two illegal raves which took place on Saturday June 13 to Sunday June 14 in Greater Manchester.
Another 4,000 people attended an event at an industrial site in Carrington, Trafford.
Giving evidence, DCI Lee Parker, Force Critical Incidents Officer and Chief Inspector for Greater Manchester Police, told the inquest that on June 13, intelligence was received that an illegal rave was taking place in Hattersley, Tameside and steps were taken to stop people going to the area.
Tameside Police Inspector Andrew Moss described how after steps were taken to block people from attending the area in Hattersley, they discovered at 6.30pm that evening it was Daisy Nook that was likely to be the area where people were gathering.
That same day, 48 officers who had been deployed to Bolton Town Hall to police a Black Lives Matter protest and possible counter-protest were sent to the illegal rave at Carrington in Trafford after reports were received of stabbings and confirmed gunshots.
A risk assessment of the illegal rave at Daisy Nook showed no such problem and DCI Parker stated there were not enough police officers to control the site.
He said all police officers deployed to the rave at Trafford did not stand down from that event until 3am.
He said: “Police were blindsided by those two events occurring and did not have the resources.”
Inspector Moss said: “At 7pm the rave at Daisy Nook was just getting going but then started turning into quite a significant event.
“At that point if they had had enough members of staff it would have been easier to break up.”
The court heard how 300 people turned into 4,000 in a short window of time.
Inspector Moss said a decision was made to not break the rave up but just to deal with specific incidents that needed police presence.
Police Inspector Stapleton, also giving evidence, said GMP had “no plan” for dealing with illegal raves.
Detective Inspector David Donlan described how he attended the scene at 6am and it was his conclusion that Mr Robinson had died of an accidental overdose.
He stated: “One of the challenges is that you don’t really know what you are getting when you buy drugs from an illegal rave.”
Also giving evidence, Detective Sergeant Joanne Green, Professional Standards branch of GMP, told Coroner Ms Alison Mutch that there had been no discussion about closing the M60, where many ravers were accessing the site or of closing any arterial routes or access to Daisy Nook.
Points of entry where ravers paid £10 to access the event had not been disrupted.
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Detective Green said a new operation called Operation Ocean has since been put in place to stop any repetition of what took place that weekend.
Coroner Ms Mutch told Mr Robinson’s brother: “Joe was a really hard-working man with his whole life before him.
“It is a credit to all of you in his life what a fine young man he was.
“His loss is still felt very keenly by you and I am sure by his friends and the rest of his family.
“He was very much looking forward to the future.”
Ms Mutch explained how evidence from the toxicologist had shown Mr Robinson had ingested a combination of ecstasy, MDMA and ketamine and ruled his death as being the result of combined drugs toxicity.
She recorded a verdict of a drug-related death.
After the hearing brother Dean Robinson, 28, said: “My brother was a remarkable young person and is missed by us all.”