A WOMAN was beaten by her psychotic boyfriend as he withdrew from drugs because he thought she was possessed by his dead friend.
Suzanne Auld, 27, was punched, kicked and strangled by Graham Lowrie while he was suffering from hallucinations brought on by withdrawal from GHB, but today she vowed to stand by him.
She told the News Lowrie was not a drug-crazed monster but a caring partner who had slowly become gripped by the drug GHB, which he had sourced over the internet, and that she had been to visit him in prison despite the vicious attack which left her with 32 staples in her head.
At the time of the assault, on December 26 and 27 last year, he was suffering withdrawals having taken GHB – a powerful anaesthetic – every day that month, Miss Auld said.
His supply had run out and by Boxing Day he had started to believe his partner of four years was his dead friend Billy.
Miss Auld said: “Graham began taking the drug before I met him but he hid it from me. He only really started using it 24/7 at the start of December last year as the doctor stopped his Valium.
“He’d take it just to feel on a bit of a high. However, his supply ran out over Christmas and the comedown started.”
Lowrie, 26, was remanded in custody at the High Court in Edinburgh last Thursday after admitting assault to severe injury. An earlier charge of attempted murder was dropped.
The attack took place at the couple’s flat at Moncrieffe House, Moredunvale Bank.
The drug had left Lowrie in such a hallucinatory state that he told police: “He was in my girlfriend. She turned into Billy.”
Miss Auld managed to flee their flat during the sustained attack but was followed into a lift in the block as Lowrie continued the assault.
She escaped from the lift on the 11th floor where a resident heard her call for help as Lowrie shouted: “Don’t listen to her. She’s evil.”
Another neighbour found her crawling on all fours screaming: “He’s going to kill me.”
However, Miss Auld refuses to give up on her boyfriend, and called for tighter controls on the drug.
She said: “I’m amazed at the strength of the drug, stricter rules need to be in place to stop people getting it so easily.”
The court heard that the couple had gone to bed on Boxing Day but Lowrie appeared to be suffering from panic attacks and started calling Miss Auld “Billy”. He then grabbed her by the hair and started punching her in the face and head. He continued the attack in the bathroom, kneeing and kicking her before grabbing her throat and saying: “You have to die, Billy.”
Police were alerted and officers who arrived at the block found the walls and floor of the lift splattered with “large amounts of what appeared to be blood”, the court heard.
Lowrie was seen by a psychiatrist who said he was sane but suffering a withdrawal psychosis at the time of the offence. Judge Lord Turnbull deferred sentence on Lowrie until next month for background reports.
Asked about the couple’s future plans, Miss Auld said: “I hope he might get community service but he thinks he’ll get the jail. Either way I’ll be here for him.”
Date rape drug just a few clicks away
GHB or GBL can be easily sourced online as an industrial cleaner.
Websites can be found offering both Chinese and German grades of the drug from £35.95 a bottle.
SINCE 2003, GHB, or gamma hydroxybutrate, has been categorised as a Class C drug, with dealers facing up to five years in jail and possession punishable by up to two years.
GHB achieved notoriety as a date rape drug. A colourless, odourless liquid and a powerful anaesthetic, it can knock victims unconscious and wipe their memory.
Users take GHB for its central nerve system depressant effect, to counteract the effects of stimulatory drugs
Analysis: Dr James Dear, Toxicology specialist and senior lecturer at Edinburgh University.
At the ERI we deal with up to one case a month of GHB addiction or overdose. Those addicted to it receive severe withdrawals featuring hallucinations, tremors and agitation. It is therefore not recommended to try and stop without medical assistance.
We deal with a whole host of drug problems and I would put GHB withdrawal at number one, ahead of even heroin and cocaine such is the strength of its physical addiction. It is a very severe withdrawal.
The drug is a strong tranquiliser. GHB isn’t sold on the internet for human use, it’s marketed as a strong industrial cleaner; essentially users are poisoning themselves.
Most people think that it’s comparable to ecstasy because it is called liquid ecstasy but it is not. It’s a much more powerful compound.