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Saturday, December 10, 2022

Tribute paid to ‘kind, dear’ student who died after eating cannabis gummies

Tribute paid to 'kind, dear' student who died after eating cannabis gummies

Tea

Tributes have been paid to a “kind and promising” law student who died after eating a suspected cannabis confectionery in east London.

Demilola Grace Olakanami, 23, bought the “gummies” via a messaging app on her phone and was delivered to her home.

Ms Olakanami and a 21-year-old friend fell immediately ill at Mid-Terrace House in South Park Drive, Ilford, at 11.30 pm on Tuesday, March 29.

The two ate sweets that came in packaging branded “Trally Peachy O”.

Ms Olakanami, a University of Hertfordshire business law undergraduate, was taken by air ambulance to Queen’s Hospital, Romford, in critical condition.

His 51-year-old church-going mother Wumee kept a watch by her bedside until she lost the battle for her life on Saturday.

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Doctors later discharged Ms. Olakanami’s friend, an American student, who was visiting the UK.

Justice campaigner and relative Richard Taylor, 75, consoled the student’s distressed mother on Sunday.

He told the Standard: “Woomi has lost her only child – she has nothing anymore.

“They had to hold her because she would break every time a friend came home to offer support.

“This is a sad warning to all young people about how they live their lives. They must resist drugs.

Woomi at Damilola’s bedside

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“Demilola was a promising young woman who should look forward to having a future and children of her own. She was studying law.”

A relative named Kewal Duni said the family was seeking answers.

She said: “Damilola was a sweet, quiet girl – a bit of an introvert. Her mother looked at her.

“She was very kind and loved taking care of the kids and wanted to please everyone. The family would never come to terms with it. We need to know what happened. His mother is no longer young.

“We don’t want Damilola to have that memory. You want her to be remembered as the girl who asked everyone, ‘Are you okay and do you need anything?’.”

Leon Brown, 37, of South Norwood, was arrested in connection with the incident on Friday.

He was later charged with possession with intent to supply a Class B synthetic cannabinoid, of being concerned in the supply of a synthetic cannabinoid, and of possession with intent to supply a psychoactive substance.

Officials have issued a warning regarding the sweets and said that several sweets have been recovered and are being tested.

The Met Police said the matter could be linked to another incident in March where a woman in Tower Hamlets was taken to a hospital after eating a cannabis sweet.

She has since been discharged, but investigations are underway to find out whether she came from the same batch involved in Ms. Olakanami’s death.

Stuart Bell, chief superintendent of the Mets East Area Basic Command Unit, said: “I must warn the public against consuming any illegal substance, including cannabis packaged as a dessert.

“Please do not buy or consume these products. They are illegal and due to child-friendly packaging, they can pose a risk of accidental consumption.

“The special batch of sweets was contained in the packaging of Trully Peachy O’s branding. It is not yet confirmed where the sweets were made.

“Drug dealers cause harm to communities and put the safety of individuals at risk. We will take affirmative action to target those engaged in this activity as well as those found to be in possession of these substances.

“Anyone with information about people selling such illegal products is asked to speak to local authorities, call the police on 101, or, to remain anonymous, contact Crimestoppers.”

The Meteorological Department said that special post-mortem will be arranged when the time comes.

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