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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 July, 2004, 14:36 GMT 15:36 UK
Rape victim warns of spike danger
Drink spiking (generic)
Many drugs used to spike drinks are colourless and odourless
A campaign warning of the dangers of leaving drinks unattended has been launched by Staffordshire Police.

The force said 14 women and one man complained their drinks had been spiked between August and July.

A rape victim is helping to publicise the Spike the Hedgehog poster campaign, which sets out the steps people should take to avoid being targeted.

The 28-year-old from the county was drugged then attacked after accepting a drink from a man she did not know.

'Out of it'

The victim, who can only be identified as Karen for legal reasons, said her ordeal began on a Saturday night out with friends in a Staffordshire town centre.

"We got to the nightclub at about 11pm, and the four of us just sat round, chatting about everyday stuff and watching people come in and out."

Tips to avoid being spiked
Never leave a drink unattended
Leave a drink with a friend you can trust when going to the bar or toilet
Be wary of accepting drinks from strangers
Look out for friends when out in clubs and bars
As the evening wore on, she accepted a drink from a man she had never met before.

With the drug clouding her judgement, she told her friend she would stay at the club even though she had no money for a taxi.

"I don't really remember seeing my friend talking to me, but I did hear her voice. I felt a bit out of it, dazed.

"I felt unconscious but awake.

"I remember being led from the club and looking back at the doors and vaguely seeing four bouncers standing on the pavement outside."

Rapist jailed

Karen was led outside and taken towards a large car that had two other men in it.

She was driven off and raped by the man who had spiked her drink.

A blood test revealed she had been drugged with a sedative.

A man was later found guilty of rape and sentenced to six years in prison.

Drug testing kits for county pubs
28 Jun 04  |  Staffordshire
'Spiked drink' prompts invention
22 Apr 04  |  Lincolnshire
Alcohol blamed for 'date rape'
13 Dec 03  |  Hampshire/Dorset

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