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Five people arrested following drug related deaths at a music festival (31 May 2018)

Date: 31/05/2018
Duncan Lewis, Crime Solicitors, Five people arrested following drug related deaths at a music festival

Four men and a woman are being held on suspicion of supplying Class A drugs following the death of two festival goers at a music festival in Portsmouth.

The arrests occurred following the death of a 20 year old male and 18 year old female at the Mutiny Festival in Portsmouth on the night of Saturday 26th May. The female was taken to hospital after being taken ill at around 7:10pm, the male collapsed 20 minutes later. Both died in Queen Alexandra Hospital after taking what is suspected to be Class A drugs. The female reportedly took two pills which caused her temperature to rise so high that she suffered a 45 minute fit.

One other person remains in hospital in a stable condition and another 15 were admitted over the course of Saturday night. Mutiny Festival’s organisers decided to cancel the second night of the festival as a precaution due to ‘…a high strength or bad batch’ of drugs being circulated around the festival grounds at King George V Playing Fields.

It is believed that ecstasy tablets called Silver Audis – three times the potency of a ‘standard’ ecstasy pill – were being circulated at the festival and are also believed to have been present at the Love Saves the Day festival in Bristol that same weekend.

The tragedy has resulted in calls for tighter age restrictions at festivals and for drugs testing to be more widely distributed at music festivals. The volunteer-run charity The Loop is currently the UK’s only drug testing charity at festivals. Their service involves chemists testing substances brought forward by users and then giving them a one-to-one discussion of the results with a healthcare expert.

Fiona Measham, director of The Loop claims that it reduces the risk of harm and cites reduced hospitalisations at the festivals it has attended as evidence of its success.

The Loop’s analysis at the Love Saves the Day Festival in Bristol found that one in eight ecstasy tablets had been mis-sold by dealers, resulting in tablets sold as MDMA actually containing over 100mg of pentylone, a high dose of a psychoactive substance.

Police are not treating the deaths as suspicious but are urging those with information to come forward. Initially, three men, aged between 20 and 22 were arrested and taken into custody at Hampshire police station but have since been released. A fourth man and a woman were later arrested and questioned as police inquiries continue.

Nicholas De Freitas has extensive expertise in all criminal matters, representing both private and legal aid eligible clients. As a Higher Rights Advocate, he has experience in a wide range of criminal proceedings and he has acted as Junior Counsel in a number of murder cases and complex fraud trials. Contact Nicholas directly on 020 3114 1150 and nicholasd@Duncanlewis.com.

Duncan Lewis Criminal Solicitors – Drugs Offences

Duncan Lewis Criminal Solicitors can advise at any stage of a charge involving drugs offences, including possession, supply, or manufacturing or distributing Class A and Class B drugs or psychoactive substances.

There are Duncan Lewis offices across England and Wales – and a Duncan Lewis criminal defence solicitor can usually reach a police station for interview under caution within an hour.

For expert legal advice on all drugs offences, call Duncan Lewis criminal solicitors on 0333 772 0409.

For 24/7 help at a police station, call the Duncan Lewis Solicitors 24-Hour Emergency Helpline on 0333 772 0607.


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