Father invents device to stop drink 'spiking'

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The Independent Online

A device to prevent drinks being spiked and the so-called "date rape" that too often ensues has been invented by a father whose daughter had her drink tampered with.

A device to prevent drinks being spiked and the so-called "date rape" that too often ensues has been invented by a father whose daughter had her drink tampered with.

Ray Lockett, 61, dreamt up the idea of inserting a , plastic stopper to slip on to the top of bottles after his daughter, Marilyn, had her drink spiked while celebrating her 21st birthday.

"That night changed my life forever," said Mr Lockett, 61. "She was out partying with friends when one of them noticed she wasn't herself. She hadn't been drinking alcohol, only juice from a bottle, and found herself unable to stand. Her friends took her home and put her to bed.

"Her drink had been spiked and I am so lucky she was with good friends and wasn't raped."

Since that night in February Mr Lockett, a businessman, from West Sussex, spent £100,000, developing the gadget to prevent drugs such as Rohypnol and GHB being slipped into unsuspecting victims' drinks.

The Spikey is designed to fit in the top of most beer and alcopop bottles. Once inserted by bar staff it creates a seal that stops pills being slipped into the drink and cannot be removed.

A hole in the top of the device is just big enough for a straw to poke through.

Mr Lockett admits the Spikey is not suitable for glasses but pointed out it marked a start in trying to address ways to prevent drinks from being spiked. His firm, R&G Products, plans for Spikeys to be distributed to pubs and clubs in bulk and is in negotiations with several pub chains.

The company carried out a survey of nearly 400 women women drinking in Soho in central London and found one in three regularly went to bars and clubs suspected their drinks had been spiked on at least one occasion, or knew someone whose drink had been tampered with.

Graham Rhodes, chief executive of the Roofie Foundation, which runs a helpline for victims of drug rape, said: "We welcome this innovatory product as it is going to help reduce the incidents of spiking."