Drugs warning as South Shields house death woman is named

Thornton Avenue, Tyne Dock South Shields
Thornton Avenue, Tyne Dock South Shields

Police have issued stark warning about the dangers of illegal drug abuse after naming a woman who died of a suspected overdose in South Tyneside.

They say Sue-Ellen Flaherty, 35, was one of two people treated by paramedics who dashed to a terraced house in Thornton Avenue, Tyne Dock, South Shields after a 999 alert.

Thornton Avenue, Tyne Dock South Shields

Thornton Avenue, Tyne Dock South Shields

Although they helped save the life of a man at the two-storey terraced property, Sue-Ellen could not be revived and died at the scene.

Six weeks on from her death, detectives today urged people to stay away from illegal substances – or risk the same fate.

DI Sean McGuigan, of Northumbria Police, warned: “Every time you take illegal drugs, you risk death

“The people who prepare and supply drugs are dishonest and will add items to their product which will cause harm, simply to increase their profit.

“There is no quality control. You take all the risk. Do not take illegal drugs.”

He added: “Our officers are trained to deal with unexpected deaths.

“However, dealing with grieving relatives and friends from tragedies of this nature can be distressing.”

Sue-Ellen, who is believed to be a mum-of-two and from North Shields, was found on Saturday, June 24.

The 35-year-old man was treated at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary and has since recovered.

Detectives have not revealed the drug suspected to have been taken by the pair.

But they say people should be vigilant to the dangers of taking illegal substances or drugs which have not been prescribed to them.

They have also urged anyone who has taken an illegal substance and becomes unwell to seek immediate medical advice.

Anyone who needs emergency medical attention should call 999.

To report information about drugs and drugs supply contact Northumbria Police on 101 quoting reference 751 24/06/17 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.