A man is believed to have died after taking legal high meow at his home.

Friends of John Sterling Smith, 46, who were partying with him at his flat in Arundel House, The Drive, Hove called an ambulance when he fell suddenly ill.

His friends tried reviving him and paramedics continued to give him CPR but he died from a cardiac arrest before he could be taken to hospital.

Detectives investigating his death believe he had taken the drug mephedrone, also known as meow, miaow miaow and MM-Cat in the hours prior to his death.

If Mr Smith is found to have died as a result of taking the drug, it would be the first meow death in the country.

Detective Sergeant Steve French of Brighton and Hove CID said they were investigating whether Mr Smith died from an overdose of the substance, which is sold legally on the internet as plant food for as little as £11 a gram.

DS French said: "We believe that meow may have been involved, but whether that was the cause of death or not we don't yet know.

“We think we have found something that looks like meow and we have sent a sample of a substance found at the address for analysis.

"Two people who were at the flat with him were arrested on suspicion of supplying drugs.

“Meow is currently not illegal to take and we don't whether what effect anything he may have taken could have had.

“His death may have been the result of an independent medical condition, something brought on by the drug or an overdose.”