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'Legal high' drugs purchased by Echo will be tested by experts
DRUGS police have launched an investigation into potentially deadly ‘legal highs’ bought over the counter in a Southampton shop.
Forensic experts will carry out urgent tests on the substances purchased by the Daily Echo in an undercover sting.
As exclusively revealed by the Daily Echo yesterday, a Bitterne shopkeeper sold the controversial “Sensate” to a reporter – less than two weeks after promising to take it off the shelves.
It comes after 14-year-old Connor Holloway nearly died after consuming the product, which was bought at the same shop, Up In Smoke.
We revealed how shopkeeper Jaz Singh was still selling the substance, packaged as a herbal incense and priced at almost £30, which he sold along with a second product known as Exodus Damnation.
Schoolboy Connor, from Maybush, was left seriously ill in the high dependency ward at South-ampton General Hospital after consuming the Sensate product, which carried warnings on it that said it was not fit for human consumption.
Yesterday his mother Emma, 33, spoke of her anger that it was still available to buy in the city and reiterated calls for it to be removed from sale before someone is killed.
The same product left Kent teenager Matt Ford suffering a heart attack after he experimented with it two days after Connor’s ordeal earlier this month.
Other so-called “legal highs” have claimed the life of three Hampshire men in the past year.
Former St George’s Catholic School pupil Adam Hunt, 18, from Millbrook died in hospital in August five days after falling seriously ill after consuming alpha-methyltryptamine (AMT) and etizolam.
He bought it online before consuming it in his room in Millbrook Road East.
Trainee doctor Doug Ferguson, 19, from Chandler's Ford died after taking the drug in June last year.
He was taken ill at a house in Heathfield Road and later died in hospital.
Married father William Nutter, 32, from Andover, died after consuming AMT the following month. He had also bought it online.
A police spokesman said the force is preparing to send off the samples for analysis by a forensic scientist.
He said: “Following information received from the Daily Echo after their front page story yesterday, we are making some preliminary investigations.
“The Echo has handed us the substances bought by a reporter and we are having them analysed to see what they contain. This will ascertain if the substances are in fact legal.”
He added: “Even if they are technically legal this does not take away from the fact that so called ‘legal highs’ often contain dangerous chemicals, are not for human consumption, and are potentially lethal. People need to think very carefully about what they are putting into their bodies.”
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