Detectives in raid on legal highs store

Alex Heriot
Alex Heriot
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A “HEAD shop” which sells legal highs has been raided by detectives three days after the death of Edinburgh teenager Alex Heriot at the Rockness music festival.

Officers left Apothecary in Clerk Street with dozens of items after the visit at around 3pm yesterday.

They could also be seen taking photographs inside the store, which describes itself as “your local headshop” and sells pipes, herbs and legal highs.

Lothian and Borders Police confirmed they were involved in gathering “general evidence” and working with Northern Constabulary, which is taking the lead role in probing Alex’s death.

The 19-year-old, from Portobello, collapsed and died on Saturday night after taking the legal high Benzo Fury at the music festival near Inverness.

There is currently nothing to suggest Apothecary sold any products to Alex, left.

The shop, which advertises the legal highs Kratome and Salvia on its website, closed following the raid.

Police had already been at the store for several hours when a marked van arrived containing nine officers, who left after filling the van with around 40 packages, bags and buckets.

An officer at the scene who identified himself as a detective from Craigmillar police station said: “We are carrying out a general evidence investigation in conjunction with Northern Constabulary. The owner of the shop will continue to be involved with the investigation in the meantime.”

When contacted, a man who answered the phone at Apothecary declined to comment.

It is understood Alex was given the legal high by a friend. After collapsing, he was taken to Raigmore Hospital but doctors were unable to save him.

Two other young people, including a 19-year-old woman thought to be his girlfriend, were also hospitalised in the incident.

Alex's mother, Deirdre, paid tribute earlier this week to her son and begged other youngsters not to become victims.

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.

“As a young man who enjoyed life it was unfortunate he chose to experiment with a drug that had such a catastrophic effect on his system.”

John Arthur, director of drug information service Crew 2000, said caution was needed over legal highs. He said: “We have no idea what is in some of them and neither have the young people who are buying them. And every time one is banned, another ten appear.”

A spokeswoman for Northern Constabulary said: “We can confirm it’s an inquiry ongoing in our area.”