Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Mutiny Festival deaths: Victim's dad in drugs warning

Georgia Jones, 18, and Tommy Cowan, 20, Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Georgia Jones, 18, and Tommy Cowan, 20, died after being taken to hospital

The father of a man who died after collapsing at a dance music festival has described holding his dying son's hand.

Tommy Cowan, 20, was found collapsed shortly after Georgia Jones, 18, fell ill at Saturday's Mutiny Festival in Portsmouth. Both died in hospital.

Mr Cowan's father Damian Cowan urged others considering using drugs to "take on board" what had happened to his son.

Three men have been arrested on suspicion of supplying Class A drugs.

Speaking during a visit to the festival site at King George V Playing Fields in Cosham, Mr Cowan described his son's last moments.

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Media captionTommy Cowan's father speaks to the BBC about his "brilliant" son

"I was in the hospital when he was fighting, I held his hand and he died. So I guess he wasn't alone," he said.

"It's no good saying 'don't do drugs', all I can say is 'take this on board, look what's happened, if you want to end up that way, carry on'.

"If you don't, don't even think about it."

He described his son as "brilliant, full of life and energetic", and said the father-of-one had gone to a concert but made "one wrong decision".

Georgia Jones fell ill at the event at shortly after 19:00 BST on Saturday. Mr Cowan - also known as Tommy Bakeer - was found collapsed about 20 minutes later.

A third person remains in a critical, but stable, condition at the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth.

Ms Jones's mother wrote of her grief at losing "her little girl" on Facebook.

Janine Milburn said she hoped her daughter's death would deter others from "taking anything ever".

Hampshire Police said a 20-year-old man from Havant, a 20-year-old from Waterlooville and a 22-year-old man from Cosham remain in police custody.

Image caption Flowers were left at the festival site entrance

A hospital spokesman said a total of 15 people had presented with "drug-related" symptoms on Saturday. It could not confirm if all 15 illnesses were related to drugs.

Hours earlier organisers of the festival at King George V Playing Fields in Cosham had issued a "harm prevention alert" apparently warning about the use of drugs.

The message to festivalgoers described a "dangerous high-strength or bad-batch substance on site".

Image caption Police investigation work has continue at the Cosham site

Organisers later said they were "devastated" about the deaths. Sunday's performances were cancelled.

The two-day festival featured artists performing electronic music including drum 'n' bass, garage and hip hop.

Dizzee Rascal, Craig David and Sean Paul were among the acts scheduled to appear.

More than 30,000 people were expected to attend the festival, which has been running since 2013.

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