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20 May, 2017 16:44

Man cut off own nose after smoking synthetic cannabis ‘Black Mamba’

Man cut off own nose after smoking synthetic cannabis ‘Black Mamba’

Six police officers were required to subdue a man who sliced off his own nose while high on a synthetic cannabis known ‘Black Mamba’.

Officers from West Midlands Police said they encountered a "bloodbath” after arriving at the scene in Newtown, Birmingham, in October last year. The man had cut off his nose with a kitchen knife and had also mutilated other parts of his body.

Two officers struggled with the man for half an hour before backup arrived. Eventually the officers managed to restrain the man and carry him down three flights of stairs to a waiting ambulance.

READ MORE: Drug so potent it can kill ‘just by touching’, police warn

One of the officers, Sergeant Jonothan Rattenberry, described the events as “the most gruesome scene he’s encountered in 26 years police service.”

Birmingham Police Inspector Mat Minton said: “I believe the actions of these officers saved the man’s life. They were met with the sight of someone who’d mutilated himself and was outwardly displaying hostility and aggression towards them.”

On Saturday, police said the officers involved received awards for their actions during the incident. The man has since been receiving specialist support.

Black Mamba is a light green herbal product containing synthetic cannabinoid that mimics the effects of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive ingredient of cannabis. It was designated a controlled drug in 2013 before being completely banned last year. A former ‘legal high’, the drug was, until recently, freely available in shops in the UK.

Birmingham Police Superintendent Andy Parsons was keen to highlight the dangers of the drug. “We cannot stress enough that Black Mamba is a very dangerous drug. It is also now illegal to possess synthetic cannabis like Black Mamba and Spice so users could end up with criminal records,” he said.

The UK's online drug information service DrugWise says ‘Black Mamba’ can cause breathing difficulties, vomiting, severe rashes, increased heart rate, cardiac arrhythmia (heart skipping beats) and ‘loss of control’ over some parts of the body.