THE widow of a man who died when he took a sip from a bottle of fruit juice laced with cocaine has spoken of her devastation.
Joromie Lewis was killed after taking a swig of the drink while working as a delivery driver for Kelly’s Shipping UK Ltd. Last week an inquest jury ruled his death was an accident.
But his widow Jayrusha Lewis, of Kings Road, Gosport, is upset at the result.
She said: ‘I’m not happy with the verdict.
‘It was painful and I feel let down, especially by those people who he was working for.
‘He knew there was something wrong with that drink as soon as he tasted it. He has gone and there is nothing that can bring him back.’
Navy veteran Joromie, 33, was collecting drinks imported from the Caribbean when he picked up a bottle of Cole Cold Pear-D and took a sip from it on December 5.
The bottle contained liquid cocaine, with a street value of £50,000 and he immediately fell ill.
He swigged from the bottle sometime around 6.30pm and was taken to the Royal South Hants Hospital walk-in centre in Southampton, around 45 minutes later.
By the time he arrived, Mr Lewis was suffering from seizures and collapsed on the floor outside.
An ambulance was called and he was taken to Southampton General Hospital, where he died at 11.35pm.
Mrs Lewis said: ‘I’m trying to cope with it and still keep my head high.
‘He was a wonderful man. He was not even supposed to be working that day. He sacrificed his time to help them get the job done. It is so sad.’
Juannette Allen, from Kelly’s Shipping UK Ltd, told the inquest that the company had not ordered any of the Pear-D drink.
Police believe the bottle may have been hidden among a delivery of Buster drinks, and that the smugglers used the Pear-D bottle so they could easily identify the cocaine.
The police have not been able to track down the smugglers as they used fake details to place the order with Kelly’s Shipping, and they are no longer investigating.
But Mrs Lewis is hopeful they be brought to justice.
She said: ‘Whoever did this did it for their selfish gain but we have lost a wonderful man.
‘Some people do not consider the outcome or consequences or the effect things can have if they go wrong.
‘They only think about their gain but someone else is suffering a big loss.
‘It’s hard but God is good and justice, if not now then some day, will be done. We are taking it one step at a time and trying to cope.’