A woman who was allegedly spiked with a needle on a pub crawl says the incident has left her feeling ‘scared’ to go out.

The victim, who contacted the Oxford Mail to share her story, made the horrific realisation that she may have been injected when she started to feel unwell – and later noticed a bruise appear on her arm near a puncture mark.

The alleged incident happened in Abingdon last Saturday night while she was out with her friends and boyfriend celebrating Halloween.

During the night she visited: The Brewery Tap, on Ock Street; The Grapes, on High Street; The Kings Head and Bell, on St Helen Street and Crown and Thistle, on Bridge Street.


Molly Hargreaves, 19, of Geoffrey Barbour Road in Abingdon, told the Oxford Mail the experience has left her ‘scared’ to go out.

She said: “It is scary to think that people do this and I think it has scared a lot of other people, like my friends.

“It scares me what would have happened if I was alone or they caught me at the wrong time and I was not around people.”

Oxford Mail: Molly Hargreaves out with friends on Saturday night before she was allegedly spikedMolly Hargreaves out with friends on Saturday night before she was allegedly spiked

Miss Hargreaves added that – as a woman – she does not feel safe going on nights out as the increasing pattern of spikings ‘is just another thing to worry about, after everything else’.

‘Spiking’ refers to when someone is given alcohol or drugs without their knowledge, usually in a drink. A person may be spiked for the intent of stealing from the victim, assaulting them sexually or physically or as an attempted joke.

Rohypnol (or Roofie) and Gamma Hydroxybutyrate (GHB) are the most commonly known ‘date-rape’ drugs which spike drinks and are used to commit physical and sexual assaults against a victim.

Spiking by injection instead describes the act of one person spiking another, but instead of using a drink, it is done through a needle.

In early October, another young woman was spiked through her drink when she was out with friends on George Street in Oxford.

Miss Hargreaves recalled the ‘odd’ behaviour of two men who kept ‘staring at her’ and followed the group into another pub.

When she and her friends were in the Crown and Thistle, the last pub they visited, she started to feel unwell. She remembers going to the toilet with a friend and then about 11pm she ‘stopped remembering absolutely everything’.

Oxford Mail: The bruise on Molly Hargreaves arm where she believes she was spiked with a needleThe bruise on Molly Hargreaves arm where she believes she was spiked with a needle

She described how within a very short space of time she was ‘dazed out’ and her friends noted she was not ‘being her usual self’.

Her boyfriend took her home but she was unable to walk the 20 minute journey back to where they live together as she was ‘really wobbly’, so she had to be ‘pushed home in a trolley’.

The next morning she felt ‘really ill’ and her boyfriend struggled to wake her up.

Miss Hargreaves went to the John Radcliffe Hospital on Sunday and medics later said they believed that she had been spiked.

Miss Hargreaves shared her experience on Facebook to raise awareness for "other girls in or around Oxford". The post includes a photograph of her bruise and a close-up video of the white shirt she wore on Saturday night, which shows a small puncture mark in the fabric.

The post has since been viewed more than 70,000 times and shared more than 1,000 times.

Miss Hargreaves has also reported the incident to Thames Valley Police.  

A spokesperson for the force said: "Thames Valley Police received a report on 1 November reporting a potential needle spiking incident.

"The woman reported that she felt unwell and later discovered a bruise on her arm and what appeared to be a puncture mark. It was after she visited a number of bars in Abingdon on Saturday.

An investigation is ongoing and we would ask anyone with information to please call 101 reference 43210493633."


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