Queens­berry curse strikes again as Mar­quess’s girl, 18, dies af­ter heroin and co­caine binge

Scottish Daily Mail - - News - By Chris Green­wood Chief Crime Cor­re­spon­dent

THE teenage daugh­ter of the Mar­quess of Queens­berry died at a house party af­ter a two-day drug and al­co­hol binge, an in­quest heard.

Lady Beth Dou­glas, 18, the youngest child of David Dou­glas, the 88-year-old 12th mar­quess, was found with nee­dle marks in her arm.

Her boyfriend thought she had fallen asleep on a sofa but di­alled 999 when he was later un­able to re­vive her at the flat in Not­ting Hill, west Lon­don.

He dis­cov­ered she had in­jected heroin, pos­si­bly for the first time. Tests also re­vealed co­caine and mor­phine in her blood.

Her fa­ther crit­i­cised de­tec­tives for fail­ing to dis­cover the iden­tity of the dealer who gave her the drugs or even to con­tact other peo­ple who at­tended the party.

Beth’s death is the lat­est tragedy to be­fall a colour­ful aris­to­cratic dy­nasty which has en­dured cen­turies of mis­for­tune once la­belled the ‘Queens­berry curse’.

The 9th mar­quess played a lead­ing role in the down­fall of Os­car Wilde and he also gave his name to the of­fi­cial rules of box­ing af­ter en­dors­ing changes to the sport in 1867 that largely put an end to bare-knuckle fight­ing. More re­cently, the fam­ily has a link by mar­riage to the fam­ily of Osama Bin Laden.

Beth, known to fam­ily and friends as ‘Ling Ling’, was the only daugh­ter of the mar­quess’s third wife, Tai­wanese artist Hsueh-Chun Liao.

She was a stu­dent and tal­ented vi­o­lin­ist but strug­gled with drug and al­co­hol ad­dic­tion and was be­ing treated for men­tal ill­ness.

West­min­ster Coro­ner’s Court heard she died af­ter go­ing to a house party at the £2.5mil­lion Not­ting Hill flat in March.

Her boyfriend Je­nan Karagoli, 21, said the pair had spent at least two days drink­ing and tak­ing drugs while stay­ing in ho­tels.

At the house party he went out to buy wine af­ter she com­plained about drink­ing cognac. He re­turned to find her ap­par­ently asleep on a sofa where he joined her.

Mr Karagoli ad­mit­ted she had asked him to ob­tain heroin for her. He said: ‘I re­ally didn’t want to do it. She used to snort heroin back be­fore I even knew her.

‘I said I didn’t know any­one. She made a phone call and said we were go­ing to a party.’

Mr Karagoli, who had been tak­ing anti-anx­i­ety med­i­ca­tion and co­caine, said he did not know who sup­plied the lethal drug.

‘She asked me to get her a bot­tle of red wine,’ he said. ‘When I came back I saw the per­son who lived there in a chair with a crack pipe. Ling Ling was asleep on the couch.’ De­scrib­ing how he later tried to rouse her, he said: ‘I couldn’t wake her up. The man in the flat said she had taken heroin. I just picked up her arms and saw a lit­tle peck of dots.’

The in­quest heard that Beth had been known to men­tal health ser­vices since the age of 13, when she started self-harm­ing and had been sec­tioned un­der the Men­tal Health Act aged 17.

Lord Queens­berry crit­i­cised po­lice for fail­ing to iden­tify the dealer who gave his daugh­ter the heroin and pos­si­bly helped her in­ject it.

He said: ‘There was men­tion there was a lot of drug-tak­ing in this flat. I was con­cerned be­cause in this flat where my daugh­ter died, it seems to have been con­nected with the in­jec­tion of heroin.

‘The owner of the flat is not here to make any state­ment. And the other peo­ple at the party, po­lice haven’t con­tacted them. I am al­most cer­tain that this is the first oc­ca­sion in which my daugh­ter, who had taken a lot of drugs... but she had not had in­tra­venous heroin be­fore as far as I know.

‘No one takes their first in­tra­venous in­jec­tion of heroin with­out as­sis­tance. Some­one helped her and no­body seems in­ter­ested as to who that is.’

The in­quest recorded Beth’s cause of death as a car­diac res­pi­ra­tory fail­ure and co­caine and heroin poi­son­ing.

Coro­ner Dr Shirley Rad­cliffe apol­o­gised to the fam­ily for be­ing un­able to ‘an­swer all of your ques­tions’. She said: ‘It’s not pos­si­ble to say what the cause of death was – co­caine in­ges­tion, heroin in­ges­tion or a com­bi­na­tion of the two drugs.

‘The po­lice found no nee­dles or sy­ringes. As far as they are con­cerned there is no fur­ther ac­tion they can take in this mat­ter.

‘They have no ev­i­dence of any crim­i­nal act and they had no iden­ti­fi­ca­tion de­tails for the cou­ple who were there that evening.’

‘I couldn’t wake her up’

Trou­bled: Lady Beth Dou­glas was a tal­ented vi­o­lin­ist but strug­gled with drug ad­dic­tion and men­tal ill­ness

In­fat­u­ated: Os­car Wilde with his lover Lord Al­fred Dou­glas, a mem­ber of the Queens­berry fam­ily

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