Man accused of hiding evidence when woman died after taking MDMA

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A man accused of supplying MDMA to a woman who later died from taking the drug didn’t want to call for help and took steps to hide evidence, the crown alleges.

Joseph Douglas McGirr, facing charges relating to the death US polo player Lauren Biddle who was found dead just before 1am on October 22, 2018.

Joseph Douglas McGirr in court. Photo: STUFF / JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON

Joseph Douglas McGirr pleaded not guilty to two charges of supplying a class-B controlled drug and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

His trial began in the Christchurch District Court this morning, where a large group of his family are in attendance.

The Crown alleges he supplied MDMA to Lauren Mikaila Biddle, 22, at a party at his home on 21 October 2018.

“There was a small impromptu gathering at the defendants home that went horribly, tragically wrong.”

McGirr, Biddle and two others had smoked cannabis and were drinking in a spa pool at the home of the accused, the Crown said.

“Later that night one person left leaving Mr McGirr, Ms Biddle and another man there when Mr McGirr prepared three lines of the drug MDMA on a breadboard.

“They all sniffed a line of the crushed drug,” the Crown prosecutor said.

The Crown said that a short time later the other man came outside to the spa pool where the defendant and Biddle were.

“Mr McGirr said that Ms Biddle was dead.”

The other man shook Biddle, got her out of the spa, tried to take her pulse and began CPR, the Crown said.

“He wanted to call an ambulance but Mr McGirr got mad and didn’t want to call for help.

“In frustration the other man put her in his car, reversed up the steep driveway, called 111 and continued CPR.”

Despite efforts, Biddle was pronounced dead on the road-side at 1.20am.

The Crown prosecutor said while this was all taking place McGirr went about hiding evidence.

“He grabbed her bag and clothing and threw it over his balcony into a overgrown area below, he then tidied the home getting rid of alcohol bottles and evidence of drug use and put the lid on the spa.

“He then went into the overgrown area with a spade and buried the bag of her belongings under some leaves.”

When the police arrived at the property at 2am McGirr was not there but appeared around 3.30am, the prosecution said.

“He was taken to the police station and it was here that he told officers what he had done with her belongings.”

The trial before a jury of eight women and four men will hear from 18 witnesses and is expected to last five days.

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