A conspiracy theorist died in Poland after taking a Turkish equivalent of the drug Xanax, an inquest heard. Maxwell Bates-Spiers, widely known as Max Spiers, had travelled to Poland to speak at a conference in April 2016. He died aged 39 in Warsaw on 16 July that year, at the house of Monika Duval, 50,…
A conspiracy theorist died in Poland after taking a Turkish equivalent of the drug Xanax, an inquest heard.
Maxwell Bates-Spiers, widely known as Max Spiers, had travelled to Poland to speak at a conference in April 2016. He died aged 39 in Warsaw on 16 July that year, at the house of Monika Duval, 50, who let him stay with her after they met at the conference.
The inquest into the death of Bates-Spiers, held on Monday in Sandwich, Kent, heard he had bought “eight to 10” boxes of the anti-anxiety medication during a holiday to Cyprus with Duval, and took several on the day of his death.
A statement from Duval, which was read at the inquest, said he fell asleep on her sofa after taking the tablets, before she noticed he had stopped breathing several hours later. He then began to vomit as she attempted resuscitation while waiting for paramedics, the inquest heard.
She said: “I noticed he had something in his mouth, some remnants of food, so I turned him on to one side and saw gastric fluids pouring out of him – brown liquid, like somewhat tea coloured.”
Bates-Spiers died at the scene, the inquest heard. A summary of the Polish prosecutor’s office (PPO) inquiry, which was read to the inquest, said Bates-Spiers had exchanged numbers with Duval after they attended the Earth Project conference.
He was described by the PPO as a journalist “dealing with the topics of conspiracy theories and paranormal phenomena”, the inquest heard.
Duval agreed shortly after they met to let him stay at her house. After picking him up from his hotel, she took him to a doctor’s surgery and bought him medication worth more than 1,500 Polish złoty (about £315), the inquest heard.
Bates-Spiers, originally from Canterbury, was often ill while staying with her and “sometimes he felt weak and sometimes he had problems with focus and attention”, the inquest was told. She paid for several other medical appointments during his stay, it was said.
He returned to England briefly, from the end of April until 8 May, then returned to Duval’s home.
The inquest heard he bought the Turkish Xanax equivalent during a holiday with Duval to Cyprus from 27 June to 11 July, when he visited a pharmacy and found the drug could be bought without a prescription.
Bates-Spiers asked Duval to buy the “entire stock” of the drug – about eight to 10 boxes – and she “fulfilled that request”, according to the PPO.
Referring to the day of his death, the PPO statement said: “He probably took 10 tablets of Turkish Xanax, at the same time explaining to Ms Duval that it was an adequate dose because its Turkish equivalent has a different dosage.”
It was said he stopped breathing and a “dark brown liquid flowed out” of his mouth as Duval and her daughter attempted resuscitation. Ambulance crews arrived after about 10 to 15 minutes and also tried to revive him.
The PPO said the death “was caused by natural causes” and “excluded participation of further persons”, the inquest heard.
The inquest, which is scheduled to last three days, continues.