Mum Campaigns To Ban 'Legal Highs' After Son Died In Her Arms

14/08/2014 16:54 | Updated 22 May 2015

Mum's fight to ban 'legal highs' after son died in her arms

A grieving mother has described how her son died in her arms after taking a 'legal high'.

Jimmy Guichard, 20, was found lying unconscious on his bed after suffering a heart attack just hours after it is thought he bought the substance.

His heartbroken mum Karen Audino has released a harrowing photograph of her son as he lay dying to warn others of the dangers of substance abuse.

She claims an empty plastic bag from a legal highs store was lying next to him at his home in Gravesend, Kent.

Karen, 42, who has launched a Facebook campaign, said: "Jimmy was fit and healthy, even the doctors said his organs were perfect.

"I believe what he smoked caused this and I want those shops banned, so nobody else has to go through this pain.

"The first place he laid was in my arms, and it was the last place he was going to be.

"I understand people are often quick to point blame and I'm not saying my son's death is wholly the shop's fault.

"Jimmy bought the drug and would have known the risks - a young boy in our town died when his heart exploded in his chest after taking a legal high.

"But these are dangerous substances and selling them on the high street encourages people to try them."I know you can get it online but people, like Jimmy, are just after a quick fix.

"There's no way he would have bothered to search online and pay for it and then wait for it to be delivered. It just wouldn't have happened.

"I just don't want his death to be a waste, I hope it will help in proving what these legal highs can do and get the laws changed on selling them."

Jimmy bought the legal high from the shop on October 2 and was found collapsed on his bed just hours later.

He regained consciousness after a heart attack but his brain swelled causing bleeding and severe brain damage.

His mother flew from her home in Ireland to be at his bedside.

A post-mortem has been carried and his family are waiting for the results of the toxicology report.

The shop - who we're not naming for legal reasons - has defended its sales.

A spokesman said there was no evidence that Karen's son who lived in Gravesend, Kent, bought one of their products, despite her claims.

He said: "Our sympathy is with Mr Guichard's family. We get all our products from an official supplier and they do not have any UK Skunkworks branding on them, neither do our bags.

"All our products are clearly labelled 'not for human consumption'. Our customers are closely monitored and we check IDs. "If we feel that someone is going to ignore the warning we will not sell the product to them."


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