Cambridge-educated lecturer Dr. Harry Purser is serving a six-month jail term after an assortment of hard drugs he sourced from the dark web led to the death of his long-time friend, 35-year-old Patrick Marr.
The 36-year-old lecturer is said to have purchased cocaine, ketamine, and two different psychoactive drugs from a dark web market using Bitcoin – the chief form of the community’s currency.
Purser admitted that he bought the drugs from a dark web market in preparation for a night of drinking and partaking in the illicit cocktail of hard drugs.
Marr, who was visiting from Leeds, spent the evening at his friend’s apartment taking the illicit concoction of hard drugs bought from the dark web and drinking alcohol.
Come morning, Purser woke up to find Marr dead and immediately raised the alarm.
Lecturer Cooperated Fully with Law Enforcers, Prosecution
In light of the stressful events, Purser displayed admirable honesty and cooperation with the police even after being given the option of remaining silent.
Upon the arrival of the police at his apartment, the Nottingham Trent University lecturer of psychology showed them the drugs he had bought from the dark web which had cumulated in the tragic turn of events.
The post mortem revealed that the cocktail of illicit dark web drugs had heavily impacted the respiratory system and the heart of the deceased, leading to eventual death.
Purser was arrested and charged with five counts of drug possession, four of which he admitted to.
Tragic but Cautionary Tale
The presiding Judge Timothy Spencer QC seemed reluctant to impose any heavy penalties on Purser who is not only a first-time offender, but was more than willing to fess up to his role in the incident.
Judge Spencer pointed out that obtaining drugs from the dark web was not prudent in retrospect, but combining them into the lethal cocktail which took the life of his friend was even less wise.
The dark web was once again portrayed in the negative light that it is predominantly viewed in, with Purser’s tragic case having served as yet another example of how dangerous the drugs bought from the dark web can be.
Judge Spencer could not, however, hide his displeasure at being forced to sentence Purser to serve jail time despite overwhelming evidence that this was nothing but a case of poor judgment.
Purser will have to pick up the remaining pieces of his life after completing his six-month jail sentence.
The judge mentioned that the case will be an in erasable blemish on his record, and quite possibly could mean the end of his career.
That said, he credited Purser for his frankness and cooperation with the police and the prosecution, especially when it came to pointing out the source of the drugs to be the dark web.
Purser Receiving Counseling following the Death of his Long-time Friend
According to Purser’s lawyer Chris Brewin, the lecturer has begun to receive counseling to mitigate the post-traumatic stress he is now suffering following the death of his friend.
Like the judge, Brewin believes that he is a case of a night ruled by poor judgment ending tragically for a loved one.
Purser’s story is one that emphasizes the need to regulate the expanding drug trade to avoid similar deaths.
Bitcoin and privacy software such as Tor has and will continue to make drugs easy to access for people all over the world in addition to its benefits in anonymity.
Dark web markets remains beyond the reach of most law enforcement agencies’ investigative capabilities, meaning that tragedies such as these will continue to take place well into the foreseeable future.
Purser, who is a 2002 Cambridge alumni, is still listed as a senior lecturer for the School of Social Sciences at the Nottingham Trent University.
A university spokesman from the Nottingham Trent University has said that the case is now being assessed since the case has concluded, and a course of action within the university’s mandated procedures is currently being considered.