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Ecstasy is alleged in causing girls suicide

The parents of an 18-year-old student who killed herself while suffering from an ecstasy-induced depression warned today of the horrifying effects of the drug. Fionnuala Cox is believed to have committed suicide by throwing herself under a train because of depression caused by the drug which she had taken for the first time after she was given it by a friend at a party.

Her father, Martin, a 54-year-old civil servant, said today that anyone tempted to take ecstasy at a Saturday night party should be aware of the knock-on depression that can lead to "suicide Tuesday" and "Wednesday blues".

Fionnuala was unable to cope with the violent side-effects of the drug which were exacerbated when she split up with her boyfriend. An inquest jury yesterday returned an open verdict into her death.

Today Mr Cox and his wife, Nora, a 53-year-old social services manager-from Lee, south London, spoke for the first time about the death of their " beautiful and gifted" daughter.

Mrs Cox said: "It was unbelievable. She had her whole life ahead of her. We had no explanation for Fionnuala dropping out of our lives and no understanding of how something like this could happen."

After they found out that she had taken ecstasy, the couple investigated the impact of the drug.

Mr Cox said: "Something that gives you a high, at some point you get a corresponding low. How big that is or how deep that is depends on how much you take. There are a clear set of symptoms associated with the drug that last through a 24, 48-hour period and onwards."

The couple, who have two other children, are now campaigning for more information to be made available about the effects of the drug.

Southwark coroner's court heard that Fionnuala and a friend had each taken a pinch of powdered ecstasy at a party in Leeds organised by a close friend of her exboyfriend, Paul Latham. Later that evening she swallowed a further half tablet of the drug.

Mrs Cox said of Mr Latham: "He was not a schoolfriend and perhaps his circle of friends led to that culture entering her life.

"She was very caring about him and had tended to accompany him to various events."

Her break-up with Mr Latham had catastrophic consequences, the inquest was told. Mr Latham, who told the inquest it had been the first time Fionnuala had taken drugs, declined to speak to the Standard.

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