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Expat teacher dies after swallowing bag of cocaine

Collapse: Victoria Buchanan

A TEACHER died of an overdose caused by swallowing a bag of cocaine in a first-class airport lounge as she sipped champagne.

Expat Victoria Buchanan, who was waiting to fly back to Dubai, collapsed and went into cardiac arrest when the bag split open in her stomach, an inquest heard.

The mum-of-three, 42, had bought 4g of the drug with husband Mark during their annual visit to the UK.

She is thought to have realised she still had some of the drug and decided on the spur of the moment to take back what was left by swallowing it.

Annual visit: With husband Mark PICTURES: CAVENDISH

Mr Buchanan, who had flown a few days earlier, told the hearing: ‘It wasn’t the intention, I definitely didn’t ask her to bring it.’ He said she would not have agreed to smuggle drugs for someone else and, after he spoke to police, they agreed that the bag in her stomach was the one they had bought.

‘It originally cost about £200 and there was maybe £50 or £60 left in it,’ he said. Mrs Buchanan, from Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire, moved to Dubai in 2010. Besides her teaching work, she helped impoverished children in Nepal through a charity.

She and her husband — thought to be a shipping firm boss — occasionally took cocaine but never in Dubai, the inquest heard.

After she collapsed on March 29 last year at Manchester Airport, an off-duty nurse looked in her handbag and phoned Mr Buchanan.

He told her his wife carried an EpiPen due to an allergy to palm oil that could cause anaphylactic shock. But the pen had no impact and she died in hospital.

The cocaine was found during a post-mortem examination.

Mrs Buchanan’s parents told the Manchester inquest they never knew she took drugs. Her mum Irene Dignon said: ‘She was always so anti them.’

Coroner Andrew Bridge gave a verdict of death by misadventure.