An English couple has been accused and stand trial for poisoning and sexually assaulting one man and murdering another with the poison ‘Devils Breath’, otherwise known as Deadly Nightshade or scopolamine, after using Grindr to find their victims.
Jurors at Croydon Crown Court also heard on Tuesday that the pair allegedly stole goods from each of the men’s apartments worth around £2,000 (A$3,600) and then unsuccessfully attempted to use the murdered victim’s name to buy £62,000 (A$111,000) worth of diamonds.
Champion Irish dancer Adrian Murphy (43) was found deceased in his Battersea, London apartment on June 4, 2019 – three days after arranging to meet Joel Osei (25) for a hookup. Osei was going by the profile name ‘Remy’ on Grindr at the time.
Osei, and his alleged accomplice Diana Cristea (18), lifted £2,000 worth of goods from the victims residence including his wallet, laptop and a Louis Vuitton bag before then attempting to use the victim’s name to procure over $110k worth of diamonds from a New York jeweller.
A post-mortem showed traces of Devils Breath present in Murphy’s system, which was also found on a can of drink and a glass in his residence.
Prosecutor, Crispin Aylett QC said, “In South America, and in particularly in Colombia, it is said to be popular with both robbers and rapists who use it to incapacitate their victims, rendering them deeply unconscious for long periods of time.”
The drug disappears from the bloodstream within approximately four hours, making it hard to trace though it can be detected in hair follicles.
The jury is also hearing a second accusation of poisoning and robbery against the couple, after they met another man on Grindr who survived a similar encounter when his neighbour found him and called the police.
Osei has previously been arrested for attempting to deal caffeine tablets at a music festival.