Mutiny inquest: Witnesses tell how they were able to walk into festival with drugs

The gates are empty after Mutiny was closed following the death of two festival-goers.'Picture by:  Malcolm Wells (180527-5998)
The gates are empty after Mutiny was closed following the death of two festival-goers.'Picture by: Malcolm Wells (180527-5998)
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REVELLERS have revealed how they sneaked drugs past security of a festival which saw two people die after overdosing.

Festival-goers claimed to have been able to stash pills of ecstasy and packets of cocaine into the their clothes before walking past security officers at the doors of Mutiny Festival earlier this year, a court has heard.

The comments were made during the opening day of the inquest into the death of Tommy Cowan and come after festival chiefs said the event’s efforts to keep drugs out of the site were ‘excellent’.

Mr Cowan was the second person to die at the music event on May 26, following the death of Georgia Jones, 18, of Havant, earlier in the night.

Portsmouth Coroner’s Court heard how the 20-year-old dad-of-one, from Havant, had ‘double-dropped’ two super-strength ecstasy tablets.

During the opening day of his inquest, one witness told how he had been able to walk into Mutiny with a yellow ‘Warner Brothers’ ecstasy pill in their pocket.

‘There was one sniffer dog but people were just walking through,’ the witness told the court. ‘I walked straight past it.’

Another witness said they had managed to sneak two ‘weak’ ecstasy tablets past security.

‘I had some Rolex (ecstasy pills),’ they said. ‘They were small, they weren’t very strong.

‘I had them in my trousers. I walked past the sniffer dog. I didn’t get patted down.’

Previously the court heard how revellers were split into three queues – one for 16 to 17-year-olds, one for over-18s and another for VIPs.

Festival organiser Luke Betts had said everyone faced the same security checks by staff from firm Vespasian Security, which included sniffer dogs at the gates and bag searches.

However, Bailey Ayling – who was a friend of Tommy’s – said: ‘There wasn’t a dog in the VIP queue. There were queues for everyone with standard tickets, they were all boxed in. But for VIPs, it was all open.’

Mr Bailey added he did not have any drugs with him on the day but was aware of others who had sneaked ecstasy and cocaine into the festival.