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Herbal high 'cooked' us - victim

A COUPLE who bought a legal synthetic drug was allegedly told by an adult shop it would give them a gentle herbal high.

Days later it had ''cooked one of them from the inside'', Rachael Hickel, 42, said, speaking about the country's first ''bath salts'' death that claimed the life of her boyfriend, Glenn Punch, 44.

The Central Coast couple injected the white powder while in the back of Mr Punch's truck and suffered severe psychosis; Mr Punch then went into cardiac arrest after a confrontation with security guards.

A devastated Ms Hickel broke down as she told The Sun-Herald they had done something silly by trying the unmarked powder and becoming guinea pigs for an unknown substance. ''I want it out there what this drug does and how it's being sold,'' she said.

She claimed they went to the Nauti & Nice adult shop in Rutherford ''for a bit of fun'' and, after they were shown a smorgasbord of synthetic drugs, they were offered Smokin' Slurrie.

The couple bought a packet for $150 and tasted some the next day. When it had little effect, they injected it twice. Mr Punch died two days later in Prince of Wales Hospital and was buried near his Berkeley Vale home on Friday.


The drug, which mimics the effects of cocaine and has nothing to do with bath salts, has quietly reached Australia after widespread concern overseas, the Herald reported on Saturday.

On its website, Smokin' Slurrie says: ''None of our products are for human consumption. This is an agreement you make with us when buying our products (Sadly a few ruin it for the many).''

Nauti & Nice declined to comment on Ms Hickel's claims and police can't seize the products because they are legal.

''We're good people but we've been totally humiliated,'' Ms Hickel said. ''I know we've done the wrong thing. We thought we were taking herbal product but it cooked him from the inside out.''