When news happens, text SDE and your photos or videos to 80360. Or contact us by email and phone.
Rapist Lloyd Phillip's shop Lucid sold my son legal high Sparkle
A FATHER has told of his family’s nightmare after his son was nearly killed by a so-called “legal high” bought at the shop run by convicted rapist Lloyd Phillips.
For six long months the young man remained in a Hampshire hospital where he was left fighting for his life repeatedly as the effects of the drug ravaged his body.
It was May 2010 – just weeks after the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs had banned the killer drug “meow meow” and classified it as a class B substance.
But swiftly flooding the UK market to replace it was a supposedly legal version called “Sparkle” which was billed as giving users a similar euphoric effect to Ecstasy.
It was often being sold as bath salts, bearing warnings that it was “not for human consumption” but could be bought easily on the Internet or over the counter.
One such outlet was Lucid, a shop then operating in Southampton’s Bargate Centre, owned by Phillips who was this week handed a further 36-month jail term after admitting possessing illegal drugs with intent to supply.
The victim, who was in his 20s, bought Sparkle at Lucid. Trading standards officers in Southampton seized 15 packets of the substance when they visited in June 2010.
The case was so serious it formed part of charges brought against Phillips, however they were later dropped at Southampton Crown Court.
Here the victim’s father tells in his own words what he witnessed in the hours after his son swallowed the drug.
“Prior to going to bed, my older son was normal and had not, to the best of my knowledge, consumed any alcohol or drugs.
“Around 3.30am I was aware that the older son was in our bedroom and was complaining that he had had a bad nightmare.
“It didn’t really register as I was half-asleep.
“Around 4.30am I heard my wife’s voice which was raised. Initially I thought I was dreaming though quickly realised this was not the case.
“I got out of bed and raced through to my older son’s bedroom. I immediately saw he was on his bed with his quilt over him. I knew straight away he had taken something.
“I asked him what he had taken and he replied “Sparkle”. I had not heard this term before.
“He was extremely anxious and edgy. He kept saying sorry. My wife and I tried to calm him but he was continuously fidgety though you could have a limited conversation with him. We managed to calm him down to a degree.
“However, as soon as he was calm he would rise up again. He kept turning the power shower on and kept going in and out of the cubicle which resulted in the floor being soaked. He was gradually getting more edgy and was jumping around the room.
“I tried to reason with him but he would not listen. He barged past me and started jumping around.
“I cajoled him back into his room where things really took a turn for the worse. He started lashing out at items in his room. He was punching and kicking random objects.
“He threw his TV and PlayStation across the room.
“I closed the door on him to protect myself and my family. The noise coming from inside was horrendous.
“I opened the door after a few moments and he tried to barge past me. He knocked me out of the way and went into the bathroom where he tore the blinds off and cracked his head on the bathroom window which broke the internal window of the double glazing.
“I was frightened for his safety. He was naked and running around the house.
He was sweating profusely and breathing heavily. He was out of control and I had never seen him like that.
“At this point, he jumped from the top of the landing to the bottom, missing all the stairs as he did so. He landed on his feet and my initial reaction was that he must have broken his legs.
“It was a fall of about 11ft and there was an almighty crash which I later discovered to be the floorboards at the bottom of the stairs had broken.
“A short time later, he was in the front bedroom and grabbed a pine wooden chair.
“He picked it up and came towards me in a crazed, threatening manner. I retreated out of the room and closed the door.
“I could hear crashing and banging from inside so I opened the door and saw the chair in bits and there was a hole in the cavity wall.
“From there, he again leapt from the top stair on the landing, his feet came up and he landed on his back and his head hit the bottom edge. I seriously thought he had broken his back. It was terrifying to watch.
“He also smashed a glass on the ceramic floor in the bathroom which cut his feet.
“Everything happened so quickly it’s hard to recall the exact sequence of events.
“Around this time, my wife called the duty doctor who in turn, recommended calling 999. This behaviour continued, my son was getting worse and worse.
“The police arrived very quickly and once they came upstairs they took over in the restraint of my son.
“By this point, he was still quite volatile, he was up and down on a frequent basis.
“There were four police officers talking to him and trying to calm him.
“The police decided to handcuff and Velcro strap him. He was handcuffed behind his back and the Velcro straps were placed around his knees and ankles.
“At this point, my son was frothing at the mouth and getting worked up.
“Police agreed to accompany him to hospital with him being strapped to a stretcher.
“He spent over six months in hospital, where he almost died on numerous occasions.”
Phillips is said to no longer be a part of Lucid and it has moved to new premises in East Street, Southampton, where it is under new management.
Stock seizure unveils Phillps' illegal drug trade.
THE haul of goods was so big it took up virtually a whole room at Southampton police station.
Inside the many large green crates stacked up against the walls is the stock seized by police from Lloyd Phillips’ former shop Lucid and his warehouse in Warburton Road, Thornhill.
They had initially started investigating Phillips as early as 2009 when a forensic scientist contacted Hampshire officers to alert them that she was able to buy illegal substances via a website linked to him.
They were billed as a legal high called “Magic” but in fact it was a substance that was actually a class B drug.
Drugs officers from the city decided to empty the contents of both premises when they executed warrants there and at Phillips’ home in Portland Terrace in October 2010.
As well as numerous packets of “Magic”
recovered during the raid there were thousands of other items, the content of which remains unknown.
Hampshire Police could only pay for testing of a limited amount as having the contents of each and every item was financially unviable.
But the products in their brightly coloured packaging, designed to be attractive on the eye, were endless.
Many of them carried a warning on the wrapping against consuming the contents at all, while others claimed to be bath salts or plant fertilisers.
Mixed in among them were bag after bag of bright green or pink tablets while the contents of hundreds of potent-smelling “herb incense”
packets, each containing 3.5 grammes, filled large plastic bags and bin liners.
Officers also seized his computer containing thousands of documents as well as copies of posters advertising “flash sales”
and a marketing email sent by Phillips just a month earlier in which he bragged about the illegal drug “magic” being back in stock – even though it had been banned.
Explaining why it was back in stock, Phillips said to customers: “Police thought it was illegal but in fact its 100 per cent legal in the UK, they have been using old info from the very old formulation. I suppose the police are only doing their job with very little funds to keep up to date with the very latest information about products.”