A GIRL of 16 became delirious minutes after taking a tablet of the

drug Ecstasy at a nightclub and died 36 hours later from a rare reaction

never seen in Britain before.

A pathologist told a Manchester inquest yesterday that Clare Leighton

developed massive internal bleeding which caused the failure of her

major organs.

There were only two previous recorded cases of this ''idiosyncratic

reaction'' to Ecstasy, said Dr James Freemont, of Manchester Royal

Infirmary, and both were in the US.

He said Clare had shown a ''rapid and violent'' reaction and her

doctors could do nothing about it.

Clare, of Cannock, Staffordshire, took a tablet of the drug -- one of

a group of amphetamine-based substances -- on a visit to Manchester's

Hacienda club in July this year.

She had taken it only once before on a visit to the same club two

months earlier, the inquest was told.

Clare, a keen dancer who had won medals for her hobby, went to the

club with three friends. One of them, Tim Charlesworth, 19, of Cannock,

said he had bought four tablets from a dealer in the club and gave one

to Clare, who washed it down with lager.

Shortly afterwards he had to help her out of the club and call for an

ambulance when she collapsed.

''She wasn't breathing properly and she didn't seem well at all,''

said Mr Charlesworth, who has served a six-week sentence in detention

for supplying her with Ecstasy.

Duty consultant at Manchester Royal Infirmary, Dr Barry Doran, said

Clare was given blood and plasma transfusions and put on dialysis, but

the drug had already done its damage.

Although he was told later Clare had a history of asthma, it was

impossible to say whether she had shown an allergic reaction. Even if

this had been known, it would have made no difference.

''I have never seen a case as rapid or as violent,'' he added.

Coroner Leonard Gorodkin, recording a verdict of death by

misadventure, said it was extremely rare for death to occur from such an

amount of the drug.

But he added: ''Let me say quite clearly that this should not make

anybody feel complacent.''

He went on: ''This was a great tragedy for a young girl out to enjoy

herself with friends, full of life, coming to a club and doing what so

many young people do -- experimenting with a drug.

''No drug is safe and this shows that. There is somebody somewhere who

is going to have a reaction and is going to die from it.