Highlands & Islands

Mother's tribute to RockNess death teenager Alex Herriot

The mother of a 19-year-old who died after collapsing at the RockNess festival has described him as a "beloved" and "beautiful" son.

Alex Herriot, from Portobello, was thought to have taken drugs.

His mother, Deirdre, said her son had not been a habitual drug user and had been warned against taking substances.

She said: "Alex was a joy to have as a member of our family and we were privileged to have known him for an all too short 19 years."

Mrs Herriot said her family were devastated.

She said: "Alex, our much loved son, was happy, caring, kind, loyal and affectionate and joined in enthusiastically with any project.

"He was very popular with a large group of close, good friends. He was beautiful, both on the outside and the inside, where it matters most.

"He loved his life. The fact that we will not be seeing him wandering around the house with his laptop playing his music, teasing his sister and asking if there was any food and could he have a bus fare please, is unbearable."

Family 'bereft'

His mother said Mr Herriot had been looking forward to RockNess, which took place at Dores, close to the shores of Loch Ness.

She added: "We know that young people dabble in drugs and Alex had been warned to steer clear.

"Please, please be aware that certain drugs can kill, and please don't be the next youngster to leave their family bereft."

Mr Herriot died after collapsing on Saturday night.

He was taken to Raigmore Hospital, but failed to respond to treatment.

Northern Constabulary said two other people, a 19-year-old woman and a 20-year-old man, were also being treated after taking so-called "legal highs" at RockNess.

A police spokesman said a post-mortem examination would be carried out to determine the cause of Mr Herriot's death.

He added: "Early indications are that the man may have consumed drugs, and this is one of the lines of inquiry at this stage."

North Constabulary said they, and organisers, had minimised the risk of controlled drugs being consumed at the festival through searches, the use of drugs dogs and amnesty bins.

The force also recently issued a warning from the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency about the latest pink ecstasy tablet.

Officers were making inquiries into a "legal high" substance known as Benzo Fury, which is believed may have been taken by those who are currently being treated in hospital.

Police warned it can be very dangerous, particularly if consumed with other substances.

Supt Stevie Mackay, the event commander, said: "People may think that 'legal highs' are safe, because they are not classed as a controlled drug, but they are extremely dangerous.

"If anyone has the tablets described or any other drug, whether controlled or a 'legal high', in their possession, they are advised not to take them and to hand these in."

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