‘I didn’t think anyone would die’

A distressed friend of a young man who died of an overdose of MDMA at a summer dance festival told an inquest today: "I didn't think anyone would die."

The 23-year-old who was one one of Joshua Tam's best friends said he didn't know MDMA could be fatal.

"We all knew it was dangerous but we did it anyway, I guess," the man, who was clearly distressed, said.

Joshua Tam died after drinking up to a litre of vodka and between 5 and 6 MDMA capsules.
Joshua Tam died after drinking up to a litre of vodka and between 5 and 6 MDMA capsules.

"Something like this had never happened. Someone close to us had never been affected by it. I understood the risks associated with it partly.

"I guess I had seen people have big nights on it and people affected by it differently but didn't think fatality, no."

Joshua Tam, 22, died at the Lost Paradise festival on the NSW Central Coast on December 18 last year after drinking up to a litre of vodka and between 5 and 6 MDMA capsules, the inquest into his death and another five young revellers has been told.

His death had totally changed how they viewed drugs and they had never used them again, the man said.

Joshua died at the Lost Paradise festival on the NSW Central Coast in December last year.
Joshua died at the Lost Paradise festival on the NSW Central Coast in December last year.

"Never ever touched it again," the man said.

"All we do is advocate not to touch it.

"How much one death has affected myself and everyone...if we can save one person then we have done out job."

The man, whose identity has been suppressed, said he now favoured pill testing to tell people how a drug was going to affect their bodies and drugs should be taken off people if they are too dangerous.

He also said artists should tell the audience from the stage how they should drink more water.

The man, whose identity has been suppressed, said he and Joshua loved music and a group of 15 mates went to the festival where they planned to camp for three days.

They knew they could not take alcohol and drugs in to the festival but Joshua smuggled in 1.5 litres of vodka and three grams of MDMA as black crystals in ziplock bags.

It was 40 degrees and they were all sweating profusely but the man said he had only reflected since on how dangerous it was to use alcohol and drugs.

Joshua’s parents John and Julie Tam outside Lidcombe Coroner's Court last week. Picture:AAP
Joshua’s parents John and Julie Tam outside Lidcombe Coroner's Court last week. Picture:AAP

Later that day, he said they lost sight of Joshua and after looking for him, the man got a call from police to say he was at Gosford Hospital but the police wouldn't give him any more information.

"I presumed he was in a stable condition and he was OK," the man said.

The mates feared the worst when someone came to their campsite to get Joshua's bag and then the man was taken to hospital where Joshua had died of complications from MDMA use.

The inquest into the six deaths at five festivals over last summer continues at Lidcombe Coroners Court before Deputy State Coroner Harriet Grahame.