Mum shocked by Mutiny deaths begins fight for drugs-testing tents

A CAMPAIGN has been launched to bring drug-testing facilities to future festivals in Portsmouth.

Wednesday, 30th May 2018, 7:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 19th June 2018, 4:30 pm
Tommy Cowan, who died after becoming unwell at Mutiny Festival

Shannon Ayling has launched the appeal, having been moved by the deaths of Georgia Jones and Tommy Cowan on Saturday.

The 24-year-old, of Paulsgrove, used to be addicted to cannabis and hopes her plea will prevent further tragedies from happening.

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Tommy Cowan, who died after becoming unwell at Mutiny Festival

The mum-of-two said: ‘I’ve been to many festivals in the past and seen how drugs are bandied about like sweets.

‘I was an addict myself but stopped before getting involved with harder stuff.

‘I want other people to see you can have fun without drugs.

‘Some of my family members attended Mutiny Festival and they were offered drugs, as were friends.

Georgia Jones, who died after becoming unwell at Mutiny Festival

‘One of them was just stood by the toilets when they were approached and offered pills.’

Shannon has e-mailed Mutiny offering to assist them.

She said: ‘Mutiny should have had drugs-testing tents or stands.

‘People need to see the complications and it might make them think twice. There’s a drug problem everywhere, not just in Portsmouth. When I was smoking cannabis it was so easy to find. When it’s so readily available, you can’t cut it off at the source.’

City Tory leader Donna Jones has backed the idea to bring drug testing tents into festivals.

Cllr Jones said: ‘I do not think that Mutiny Festival should continue, but if it does, we need to have drugs-testing tents and stricter controls.

‘I think what Shannon is doing is a brilliant idea and I hope more people join her.

‘If these tents were in place at Mutiny, these deaths could have been prevented.’

o back the plea, search ‘Drug testing and advice at festivals’ on Facebook.