Nightclub manager died from ‘high dose’ of MDMA after finishing shift

Nightclub manager, 37, dubbed ‘Mr Newcastle’ who was best friends with Vicky Pattison died from ‘high dose’ of MDMA after finishing shift

  • Paul Burns, 37, died after collapsing on a night out with friends, an inquest heard
  • Toxicology report showed MDMA presence in his system, also known as ecstasy
  • The coroner told the hearing that the concentration of the drug was ‘high in relation to the typical concentration in recreational users’

A popular Newcastle bar boss died after collapsing while on a night out with friends, an inquest heard.

‘Mr Newcastle’ Paul Burns had finished his shift at The Botanist at around 11pm on June 1 this year, before going out with pals in the city centre.

But an inquest heard that the evening ended in tragedy when the 37-year-old collapsed.

The popular Newcastle bar boss, pictured on previous nights out with Vicky Pattison, left and right, died after collapsing while on a night out with friends on June 1, an inquest heard [File photo]

Coroner Karen Dilks said in the early hours of June 2, Mr Burns was seen by a member of the public ‘sitting on a wall and appeared to be swaying with his head in his hands’.

‘A short time later he was seen lying unresponsive on the pavement,’ she said.

Paramedics attended the scene and attempted to resuscitate him, but their efforts were unsuccessful.

Ms Dilks said a post-mortem examination showed no obvious signs of natural disease.

She said a toxicology report confirmed the presence of MDMA – also known as ecstasy – in his system.

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Ms Dilks told the hearing that the concentration of the drug was ‘high in relation to the typical concentration in recreational users’.

She said in the absence of any other findings the cause of death ‘can be attributed to the effects of MDMA’.

A statement from Detective Sergeant Richard Anderson confirmed that inquiries by Northumbria Police found there was ‘nothing to suggest any third party involvement in Paul’s death, no suspicious circumstances and no link between Paul’s death and any other death’.

Emotional: Vicky Pattison made an appearance on Loose Women on Wednesday to discuss the ‘toughest time of her life’ following the shock death of her best friend Paul Burns aged 37

Ms Dilks said: ‘Given the evidence I have heard today it’s clear Paul Burns had no natural disease that could explain his death – the only significant finding was that of the toxicological findings of the level of MDMA.

‘The conclusion I must report is that it was a drug related death.’ 

Mr Burns, who was credited as key to the success of The Botanist and who had been involved both behind the scenes and on the dance floor of much of Newcastle’s nightlife, left behind an adoring family and thousands of friends.

Famous faces, including Geordie Shore stars, were among the huge crowd which gathered to say farewell at his funeral.

His uncle, John Layton, spoke of a loving nephew, son and friend, who was always happy to be a ‘shoulder to cry on’, to offer the best cuddles, was generous with his time and ‘unconditionally’ loving.

‘He was a man with a heart as big as a lion,’ he said.

Mr Burns’ close friend, reality TV star Vicky Pattison, told mourners that wherever she had lived in her life, Newcastle had always been home.

And while Newcastle meant the excitement of pulling into Central Station, and getting butterflies in her stomach at the sight of St James’ Park, and three trebles for five pounds, most of all, it meant Mr Burns.

She said: ‘Newcastle to me was Paul Burns. He was the beating heart of this city and I genuinely do not know how we will cope without him.’    

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