A TRIAL has started for a man who is accused of putting cocaine in a woman’s drink at a nightclub in Banbury.

Charlie Hackett, 26, of Sutton Coldfield, near Birmingham, has been charged with administering a noxious substance with intent to injure or annoy, a 160-year-old charge placed on the statute book two-and-a-half decades into the reign of Queen Victoria.

He is accused of adding powder cocaine to Millie Stayton’s drink at the Zinc nightclub in High Street, Banbury on December 11, 2021.

Hackett has admitted to possession of cocaine but has denied the allegation.

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Opening the case on Monday (March 4) at Oxford Crown Court, prosecutor Christopher Pembridge said that Ms Stayton and her friend had been out drinking that night and had met a few friends at the nightclub shortly after midnight.

They were dancing when they noticed a group of men which allegedly included Hackett. Ms Stayton claims that she then noticed Hackett’s hand above her cup and did not actually consume the drink.

He said: “It wasn’t administered into her body, just into her cup. It was between midnight and 2am.

"While she [Millie] was dancing she turns and says that she saw the men, which the Crown say is Mr Hackett, with his hand over the top of her cup.

“She didn’t see anything drop into her cup but she said it was held over at an unnatural angle. Her friend did see something drop from his hand.”

Ms Stayton and her friend Laura alerted a bouncer which strained the cup through blue kitchen roll. He states he found a ‘white granular residue’ on the towel and at the bottom of the cup.

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Hackett was taken by the bouncer into a separate room and searched where it was discovered he had a small amount of cocaine in a ziplock bag, the court heard. 

As a result, he was escorted out of the pub and handed over to police.

He was arrested by officers and charged where he later admitted to possession of a Class A drug but denied trying to put it into Ms Stayton’s cup.

Mr Pembridge said: “By the time all this happened, the cup which contained Millie’s drink had been cleaned away by bar staff.

“Obviously they hadn’t appreciated its significance so there were no scientific tests done on the cup.”

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He continued: “If someone were to take cocaine it would have an effect on them, certainly an unwanted effect on Ms Stayton.”

Mr Pembridge added that CCTV footage will not form part of the evidence as it was ‘too dark’ with ‘flashing lights’. 

The trial continues.