Fake ecstasy: Man arrested after teen dies

The green pills are quite distinctive. Picture: Comp
The green pills are quite distinctive. Picture: Comp
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A MAN has been charged in connection with the supply of drugs following the death of a teenager who took a fake ecstasy tablet.

Barrie Rainey, from Alexandria, West Dunbartonshire, appeared at Dumbarton Sheriff Court yesterday.

The 24-year-old was charged with supplying ecstasy and made no plea or declaration. He was remanded in custody.

Pills containing the stimulant methoxyamphetamine, known as PMA, have been linked to seven deaths in the west of Scotland, and have also been seized in Aberdeen. Fake ecstasy tablets have also been linked to 10 deaths in Northern Ireland.

Demi Campbell, 18, died in Alexandria, and three male friends aged 18, 21 and 25 were admitted to hospital earlier this week. Officers said they had taken green pills stamped with a Rolex crown logo, which contained PMA.

Police have installed drug amnesty bins at T in the Park this weekend in an attempt to prevent any further fatalities.

They are keen to encourage anyone in possession of ecstasy tablets, or other substances such as so-called legal highs, to throw them away.

Superintendent Grahame Clarke said: “Public warnings have been issued recently in relation to the dangers of taking ecstasy, or indeed tablets being passed off as ecstasy.

“They are illegal and could contain a cocktail of toxic ingredients.”

PMA is similar in form to ecstasy. However, it is often much stronger and can result in dangerously high increases in body temperature.

It has also been known to result in hallucinations and convulsions. It is slow-acting and as a result users may take more of the drug in order to gain a reaction, resulting in overdoses.

Police have also issued a warning about a white pill with the Mitsubishi logo imprinted on it, found to contain the chemicals 5IT or AMT, and a yellow tablet with a star logo.

A large quantity of fake ecstasy tablets were recovered at a house in Aberdeen on Wednesday. The the tablets were also green but carried a Heineken logo.

Kenny MacAskill, justice secretary, visited Balado airfield in Kinross yesterday, home of the three-day event, to speak to festival organisers about any safety issues.

He met with officers on the ground, festival boss Geoff Ellis and Chief Superintendent Derek Robertson, who is in charge of policing, and was briefed on the behind-the-scenes operation.

“T in the Park is a major event on the music calendar, attracting many tourists and putting Scotland on the world stage every year,” said Mr MacAskill.

“Thousands of people travel from near and far to attend the festival, and the vast majority of revellers are well behaved and have a great time.

“This year, police and the NHS have issued warnings about tablets being sold as ecstasy, which contain dangerous chemicals. I would encourage everyone to heed these warnings and enjoy a safe festival.” He went on to add that the event has been successfully policed since it was first held at Balado in 1997.

Richard Stevenson, a doctor in emergency medicine at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, said earlier this week: “I would urge anyone who begins to feel unwell, or feels a more intense high than usual after taking any drug which they think is ecstasy or not, to seek immediate medical help.”