Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting ECHONEWS to 80360, or email us Click here for details »
My lifesaving mission, by dad of daughter in poisoned gin tragedy
10:00am Thursday 29th August 2013 in Echo News
THE father of a girl who died from drinking poisoned gin in Indonesia told how he was coping with her death by throwing himself into a life-saving campaign.
Brenton Emmons, 47, of Southend, is on a mission to ensure what happened to his Cheznye, 23, doesn’t happen to anyone else.
Mr Emmons and his family are campaigning, with the Government and Foreign Office, to highlight the issue of poisoned alcohol sold in the Far East.
Cheznye died in April after drinking from a bottle labelled Mansion House gin, but which was contaminated with methanol, a clear substance impossible to detect when mixed with alcoholic drinks.
Mr Emmons said the months since Cheznye’s death had been difficult.
He added: “We’re trying to get by the best we can, but it’s really damaged us all. In some way, this campaign is helping me and gives me something to focus on away from the negative.
It’savery strange and surreal time for us.”
He has just returned from Indonesia with friend Boo Beckett, 42, who lives in Leigh. There, they tracked down the store which sold the gin to Chezyne.
During the 8,000-mile round trip to a village called Bukit Lawang, they alerted police to the store selling the alcohol. The owner was arrested, as were three workers and a driver from the factory supplying the drink.
The pair said the man behind the operation was on the run. Some 5,000 350ml bottles of the gin were taken away by police.
It was found each bottle contained 20 per cent methanol, a deadly amount.
Tests revealed two 25ml shots would be enough to blind someone, and three could kill.
The campaigners want leaflets made available highlighting the problem, doctors and nurses who give jabs for those travelling to the country to inform young people and the Foreign Officewebsite to make the dangers clear.
It tells those visiting Indonesia to: “Seek local advice about reputable shops, bars and brands, and make sure cocktails are prepared in your sight.”
Mr Beckett said: “The website is dangerously misleading. It says to ask a local when out there.
“But 1,000 locals die every year because of alcohol contamination.”
Mr Emmons said: “We want to educate doctors and nurses in this country so they can give out leaflets and information warning people of the dangers.
“We’ve got so many things in the pipeline we’d like to get done, including airlines giving people a last-minute warning before landing in the country.
“Getting the ideas down with Government is hard work, but we’re getting there. People are really behind us and what we’re doing.”
Mr Beckett said: “The fact 5,000 bottles were found means that’s 5,000 lives potentially saved."
Comments are closed on this article.