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Celebrity barrister opens up about chemsex and the death of his 18-year-old boyfriend in a tell-all interview

Celebrity barrister opens up about chemsex and the death of his 18-year-old boyfriend in a tell-all interview

Barrister Henry Hendron

Last month, Henry Hendron, a high-profile barrister in London, pleaded guilty to purchasing the chemsex drugs that were responsible for the death of his 18-year-old boyfriend, Miguel Jimenez. Jimenez, died in Hendron’s London apartment from a drug overdose in January 2015.

In an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Thursday, Hendron shared about his relationship with Jimenez, and his involvement in the chemsex scene.

Speaking openly on the death of Jimenez, Hendron expresses his regret, and says that he is not pleading for sympathy or expecting special treatment from the courts:

‘Every day that goes past I feel responsible. I was older, I should have known better, I was 34 then, he was only 18. It should have been me saying “we’re not going to do this”…

‘I didn’t make that call when I should have done, and for that reason, and that reason alone, I put his tragic death on my shoulders.’

It has been reported that Hendron had bought around £1,000 worth of drugs.

One of the drugs was mephedrone, a Class B drug that also goes by the street name, ‘meow meow.’ This light-coloured powder is a powerful stimulant that can give its user euphoria and alertness, but also paranoia, anxiety and vertigo. Risks of usage include severe overheating and death.

The other drug he got was GHB, a Class C drug commonly known as ‘G.’ It is usually sold as clear liquids, and gives its user a sedative effect which can last up to seven hours, as well as euphoria. It is more dangerous when used with alcohol, and risks of usage include unconsciousness, coma and death.

Hendron says that the drugs he had obtained were not for any chemsex party, but to share with his partner.

 

Henry Hendron and Miguel Jimenez
Henry Hendron and Miguel Jimenez

Before the incident, Hendron had traveled regularly to his boyfriend’s country, Colombia, to get to know his family, especially his mother.

‘It’s a horrific thing to lose a son, especially at 18 and to drugs. And to make matters worse, not all of his family knew he was gay so you have many bombshells that dropped on their shoulders at the same time,’ Hendron says.

The 35-year-old also shared about what had gone down on the day of Jimenez’s death:

‘It was a normal Monday afternoon. We had taken our dog to the vet. We had dinner, we had some wine, and my partner had quite a bit of wine, and then at midnight he just said “shall we have some drugs?”

‘I was working the next day, so I didn’t have any on that occasion, but he did. He had some G [GHB]. It was quite a nice experience and we went to sleep. I woke up and he was dead, next to me.

‘I’d never seen a dead person before but when I turned him over, he was non-responsive, he was purple in the face and his face was frozen.’

Hendon called the ambulance, and while waiting for it to get to his flat in Temple, in central London, he tried to revive Jimenez by giving CPR.

When the paramedics arrive, they had spent 45 minutes trying to save Jimenez, but failed. Hendon said that at that moment he felt like his world crumpled:

‘I think I let out a wail. I was just in another mental, different place.

‘All of a sudden, my whole world had collapsed from being happy and healthy and being in a loving relationship, to one which had this big question mark.’

Police officers who had come along with the paramedics arrested Hendron on the spot.

‘My partner was dead in the next room, and as the ambulance retreated, four or five police officers came forward and arrested me… for various drugs charges and manslaughter at that time.’

Hendron holds himself fully responsible for the entire situation, and admits that party drugs are destroying the lives of many young gay men out there. He describes drugs as a ‘common and increasing phenomenon’ in the gay scene.

‘I hadn’t touched drugs in my teens and twenties, it was only the last couple of years.

‘There are a large number of men, in their 30s and 40s, who’ve come to drugs late and are now doing it regularly.

‘Drugs in the gay scene have really taken off. Recent studies show that gay people are three times more likely to take drugs than their straight counterparts.

‘It seems to be the acceptable face now of recreation in the gay community.’

BBC reports that a sexual health clinic in London reveals that around 3,000 gay men who do chemsex access its services every month.

Hendron reveals from his experience that there are many professionals like him who do chemsex parties:

‘Most of the people who do these gay sex high parties are in full-time employment. It’s not a picture that most people aren’t part of that scene would recognise.’

He also blames how easy it is for people in the city to get their hands on drugs:

‘The problem is more prevalent than people think and it’s an increasing one. It’s increasing because the drugs are cheap, and they’re everywhere.

‘Within minutes on [gay dating app] Grindr, in Vauxhall or Soho, you can find someone who’s selling or looking.’

In the face of a possible prison sentence, Hendron says that he would accept what he deserves:

‘I was there because of drugs, my partner was dead because of drugs and I was about to lose my career because of drugs.

‘I may go to prison and whatever I get, I deserve. I have made some stupid decisions and you have to stand up and accept that.

‘But that’s the price that drugs make you pay.’

His sentencing will take place in early May.

H/t: BBC