January 17, 2023 3.30 pm This story is over 15 months old

Father-of-four denies dating app vape spike manslaughter

The incident happened at his seaside chalet in Grimsby

By Local Democracy Reporter

A man has appeared in court accused of the manslaughter of a woman he met on an online dating app, where he is alleged to have spiked her vape fluid with a potent painkiller.

Christopher Downes, 53, met 55-year-old Kim Harrop on a dating website in 2018 and took her to his seaside chalet in Humberston Fitties, Grimsby, after meeting her in person in April of that year.

During an appearance at Sheffield Crown Court, it was heard that Downes, of Dunsville, Hatfield near Doncaster, had allegedly placed Oxycodone, a strong painkiller, into her vape liquid.

Paramedics had been called to the chalet on April 22, the day of the date, where attempts to revive Ms Harrop proved unsuccessful as she was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Daily Mail reports that it has been claimed that the accused delayed contacting the emergency services, while Downes defends it by saying his phones were out of battery at the time.

A coroner’s report revealed traces of Oxycodone had been found in Harrop’s blood, and the prosecution claims that Downes was “over-keen” to find the cause of her death.

The Sun reports that Christopher Downes had “stockpiled” the drug after his ex-girlfriend used it regularly to relieve her cancer symptoms before she died in early 2018.

Downes states that he had “no reason” to spike Harrop, as well as denying the prosecution’s allegations that he deleted data from his phone between finding Harrop in her condition and contacting the emergency services.

His defence is that he woke up to find Harrop lying dead next to him in bed. The trial continues.