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When Joseph McGirr buried American polo star Lauren Biddle’s clothes shortly after they were found lifeless in his spa pool in New Zealand, he was doing it not to hide evidence, but as a commemoration of his life, a jury was told.

Biddle, 22, died in the early hours of October 22, 2018, shortly after he was found unconscious after taking drugs at a meeting at McGirr’s home in Clifton near Sumner in Christchurch.

McGirr, 39, testified in Christchurch District Court Wednesday during his trial in which he faces two charges of supplying Biddle and his friend, Guy Higginson, with a class B drug and perverting the course of justice.

Lauren Biddle, 22, had been in New Zealand just 10 days before she died in the coastal suburb of Clifton, near Sumner, in October 2018. (Things)

He previously denied these charges, but admitted one of growing cannabis.

Jurors previously heard that McGirr had shown police where he had partially buried Biddle’s clothing in brush in front of his home.

During his testimony, McGirr, a structural engineer, gave a different version of events than those offered by Higginson, who told the court that McGirr gave him and Biddle lines of crushed ecstasy on a cutting board, which the three of them snorted. .

McGirr denied this, saying, “That is absolute nonsense.”

Joseph Douglas McGirr arrives at the Christchurch District Court. (Things)

He said it was difficult to see how anyone could inhale a dry powder with wet hands.

McGirr claimed that he had four recreational drug tablets that someone had given him, but that he did not know what the tablets were or that they contained MDMA, also known as ecstasy.

I just knew they were “party pills.”

During the night of October 21, he brought the tablets into his kitchen, crushed one on a cutting board, and snorted it.

He said Biddle and Higginson were in the spa pool at the time.

When he came out, Higginson was still in the pool, but he guessed Biddle had gone to the bathroom.

He said Higginson jumped out of the pool and went into the kitchen.

The spa where Lauren Biddle died. (Things)

“I suspect he found the other pill that was on the board, crushed it and inhaled it, but I can’t be too sure,” McGirr said.

He said he didn’t know Higginson knew there were drugs in the kitchen, but assumed he had seen him sniffing the dust there.

“He would have inhaled anything he found,” McGirr said.

McGirr said that when he returned to the kitchen later, the other three drug tablets were gone.

“I thought I just lost [them] but in hindsight, I think it’s pretty obvious what happened. “

He said Biddle was “quite interested” in drugs and that recreational drugs were “by no means an unusual item” in polo circles.

Biddle had been “interested” in drugs, McGirr claimed. (Things)

McGirr told jurors that he later saw that Biddle did not look well and would bring him a bucket if he needed to vomit.

A while later he saw her face down in the pool, pulled her out and began trying to resuscitate her, he said.

McGirr denied Higginson’s testimony that it was Higginson who pulled Biddle out of the spa pool, while he sat in the pool and said “she’s dead.”

While doing chest compressions on Biddle, he saw Higginson unconscious in the pool with his head back and his mouth almost underwater, he said.

“He was probably 30 seconds away from drowning.”

McGirr said he pulled Higginson out of the pool, put him in recovery position and continued to try to save Biddle, “going between the two.”

Mr. McGirr claimed that he buried the woman’s clothing as a “commemoration.” (Things)

He said it was “the greatest relief of [his] life “when Higginson began to come to life.

McGirr claimed Higginson was “completely drunk, incoherent and uncoordinated” and struggled to make him understand the gravity of the situation.

He said Higginson awkwardly gave Biddle CPR and muttered something about taking her to the hospital.

He said he told Higginson to take Biddle to the hospital, but it couldn’t go as well because he was wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet and was under curfew.

McGirr denied having refused to call an ambulance when Higginson urged him to do so, saying he agreed with his friend that it would be better to do so.

“You didn’t want an ambulance because you didn’t want to draw attention to your house, right?” said Crown Attorney Kerry White.

Tommy Biddle and his daughter, Lauren Biddle. (Things)

“I preferred to have her taken directly to the hospital,” McGirr said.

After Higginson left, McGirr said he was “in absolute shock” and started ordering to feel “a little more comfortable” with his surroundings.

He said he saw Biddle’s clothes and personal belongings and looked at the photo in his passport.

“I just felt like I needed to do something, I guess, to commemorate it. It wasn’t really a conscious thought,” he said.

He said he threw Biddle’s belongings into the brush in front of his house and covered them with leaves.

“I think I tried to turn it into a cross,” he said. “It was just a moment of peace in the native jungle with his things. Yes, he was quite upset.”

McGirr said he took a duvet and went to sleep in the undergrowth to try to “collect his thoughts.”

When he heard sounds and saw lights in the house, he went back upstairs and encountered police officers there.

“I had no thoughts that there was an imminent police situation, I thought it was more of a medical problem. So I was quite surprised to see a police officer,” he said.

Joseph Douglas McGirr on the first day of his trial in Christchurch District Court. (Things)

He voluntarily went to the police station to answer questions about the night’s events, but declined a video interview.

He agreed to give a written statement and then accompanied the police back to his home to show them where he had buried Biddle’s possessions.

“At no point did I try to hide anything from the police. I was very upset and shocked, affected by alcohol and drugs,” he said.

“I did my best to resurrect and revive her, and save my friend’s life.

“I had an innate desire to find some kind of spiritual reconciliation with what had happened immediately after the event.”

A green cutting board that was found by the police in the house had traces of ecstasy.

White suggested that McGirr forgot to get rid of him because the crushed ecstasy was the same color, which he denied.

McGirr repeated that he had not given Biddle or Higginson any medication. “They took him out of their own free will without any instruction or influence from me.”

This article originally appeared on Things and has been reproduced with permission.

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