Northumbria University in Newcastle has been fined £400,000, plus £26,468 costs after it mistakenly gave a toxic dose of caffeine powder to two male sports science students who had volunteered for a test to measure the effect of caffeine on exercise in 2015.

The test dose was supposed to be 0.3g, or 3 times the amount of 0.1g in a cup of coffee. However the students were given 30g, or 100 times too much and both were hospitalised and lost more than 20 pounds in weight.

The university told Newcastle crown court that is was ‘genuinely sorry’ for what was ‘an isolated event’. Both students have recovered but are pursuing a civil action against the university.

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