Inquest Hears Festival-Goer Had Taken Ecstasy Pills

14 November 2018, 14:14 | Updated: 14 November 2018, 14:16

Georgia Jones Tommy Cowan

An inquest into the second of two festival-goers from Havant who died after taking ecstasy tablets has heard that he told a friend he had taken two "Silver Audi" pills before falling ill.

Tommy Cowan, 20, from Havant, Hampshire, died after he collapsed and began fitting at the Mutiny Festival in Portsmouth on May 26, headlined that night by Dizzee Rascal.

He died on the same day as 18-year-old Georgia Jones, also from Havant, who had taken two ecstasy tablets and had also a bag of MDMA powder.

The music festival was cancelled on the Sunday, which Craig David and Sean Paul were due to headline, as a "safety precaution" following the two deaths, with a number of other people reporting to hospital with the symptoms of having taken drugs.

Detective Constable Alistair Charnley, of Hampshire police, said the two deaths were being treated as connected to ecstasy tablets and officers were investigating links between the two.

He said Mr Cowan, a father-of-one, was understood to have taken two ecstasy tablets.

He said: "Police treated the two deaths as non-suspicious and are investigating any links between the two deaths.

"Several people have been arrested on suspicion of supplying class A drugs. They have all been released from custody under investigation."

He added that seized drugs had been forensically examined but he was unable to release further details as the investigation was continuing.

The inquest heard from witnesses who said they got drugs through security on to the festival site.

Mr Cowan's mother, Brook Hoar, 38, told the hearing she had gone to the festival but had been unable to contact him during the afternoon because of a lack of phone reception, and when her phone started working again she received 186 messages and missed calls.

She said: "My phone went crazy, I opened Messenger and it just said Tommy is in intensive care and we need to go to the QA (Queen Alexandra Hospital). We just legged it to the car park and jumped in the car and went up to the hospital."

Describing her son, she said: "He was just fun-loving, he was a doting dad and boyfriend, he was loved by everyone, he was just a great lad."

His partner, Jodie Brain, said they had been in a relationship for three years.

She said: "Before we got into a relationship he was doing drugs a lot more, then we fell pregnant and he didn't go out much and he settled down."

Friend Lewis Behrens told the inquest he had seen Mr Cowan looking "out of it" at the festival and said he had told him he had taken some "Silver Audi" pills.

Another friend, Oliver Joell, said he saw Mr Cowan at the festival and he appeared to be under the influence of drugs and was looking to get hold of more.

He said he saw Mr Cowan later and added: "He stumbled past us and he was completely unaware of what he was doing. He was falling backwards and stumbling, walking completely out of sync and falling into people."

He described how Mr Cowan fell to the ground and began fitting before paramedics arrived and began treating him.

An inquest held earlier this week into the death of Miss Jones, a care assistant, concluded that she died accidentally, and coroner David Horsley criticised drug dealers as "unscrupulous and greedy people".

The hearing was told that Miss Jones was probably unaware that the two ecstasy tablets she took were "double-strength" and she died from an "extremely high" level of MDMA intoxication.

The inquest into the death of Mr Cowan will conclude on Friday.