Demand for justice as police urged to catch Mutiny Festival drug peddlers

CALLS for an investigation into the supply of drugs were getting louder last night after the mother of one of the people to die said her daughter had taken '˜two pills'.

Monday, 28th May 2018, 7:00 am
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 8:53 am
Floral tributes are about to be laid to Tommy Cowan and Georgia Jones

Janine Milburn posted on Facebook to say Georgia Jones, 18, died in hospital after being taken unwell at Mutiny Festival after taking ‘two pills’. The organisers warned of a ‘bad batch’.

And last night readers of The News demanded to know why police had declared the deaths as non-suspicious when illict drugs were potentially involved in at least one of the deaths,

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Floral tributes are about to be laid to Tommy Cowan and Georgia Jones

A police spokesman said Georgia and dad-of-one Tommy Cowan’s death were being investigated separately ‘effectively on behalf of the coroner’.

Taking to The News’ Facebook page yesterday, Vickie Taylor-Bath said: ‘How can they not treat there deaths as suspicious? They should be searching for the dealers.’

Caroline Rabbetts added: ‘I just hope wherever and whoever sold that it will haunt them.’

Sands Feist added: ‘Let’s hope they’re caught and severely punished.’

Portsmouth has been battling a hike in drug-related violence in recent years, linked to the county lines drugs gangs who deal class A substances in the city.

Supt Paul Bartolomeo had warned people against using drugs at the weekend’s festival. In a statement issued on Thursday, he said: ‘Even just dabbling in illegal drugs and psychoactive substances can have catastrophic and fatal consequences.’

An ‘increase in drug use’ was noted by police at the 2017 festival, which was also held at the King George V Playing Fields.

Meanwhile, the second day of the Portsmouth City Council-run Live at the Bandstand in Southsea was cancelled yesterday.

It was postponed so that resources could be used to help Mutiny Festival organisers.

In a statement on the Live at the Bandstand Facebook page, the organisers said: ‘Unfortunately today’s Live at the Bandstand is cancelled due to the need to refocus resources to the north of the city after last night’s sad events.

‘We know a lot of you will be disappointed and are very sorry for the inconvenience.’

The Bandstand event is expected to return next weekend.