THE killer drug linked to the death of a young father-of-three can be bought on the internet for less than £10 as its supply into the town goes unchecked.

Alpha-methyltriptamine, better known as AMT, was the suspected cause of 23-year-old Chris Scott’s death last week, after police analysed a pill in his possession.

Chris, of Charfield Close, Park South, died at the Great Western Hospital on Wednesday after being taken to hospital by paramedics shortly after 6pm on Monday.

It is thought he collapsed at his home after taking a small green pill with a dollar sign on it and forensic tests on a tablet found in his possession, which was first thought to be a contaminated illegal drug, has since been confirmed as AMT.

The substance, which is a so-called legal high, is sold on a wide range of websites which specialise in ‘research chemicals’ and the Adver bought two 35mg pellets of high purity AMT for just £9 from a website called and also in 100mg powder for £7.50 from CrazyChemical-

Both packets are marked ‘not for human consumption’ and are said to be for research purposes only – something Professor Harry Sumnall, of the Centre for Public Health at Liverpool John Moores University, said was a way around drugs legislation for retailers.

An expert in substance use he said: “That is a marketing tool – it is a get-out clause for them to beat trading standards. Nobody is going to use these chemicals for mainstream research, although it could be argued people are using them to research the effects of novel psycho-active substances.

Drugs which don’t fall under the Misuse of Drugs Act and are not subject to temporary banning orders still cannot be sold for human consumption unless it can be demonstrated it has some medical or chemical use, which obviously suppliers of these drugs can’t do.

“So they are labelled as bath salts or plant food and marked not for human consumption instead.

“AMT itself was originally developed as an anti-depressant in the 1960s but it was never fully developed as that. How and why it has appeared in the recreational market now I don’t know.

“It has effects similar to MDMA but it is slightly more hallucinogenic. It is also quite easy to take a high dose – the average is between 20 to 30 mg and that could last for 12 hours. Up to 40mg is a high dose.”

Cherry Jones, acting director of public health at Swindon Council, said: “Obviously there is concern that these legal highs are so easily available to people in our communities and the danger and risk associated with taking them.

“I would advise people not to take any illegal or legal highs. Just because they are referred to as legal doesn’t mean that they are safe, taking any tablet when you don’t know what’s in it or the effect it might have on you is very risky.

“Make sure that you are with someone and seek medical help immediately if symptoms of toxicity start to develop such as severe overheating, nausea, hallucinations.

“Further information on drugs can be accessed on the talk to Frank website”

South Swindon MP Robert Buckland said he would lobby the Home Office to get AMT bannedpermanently.

A spokesman for said: “I'm sorry to hear the death of a man has been linked to any kind of research chemical.

“It's a difficult situation as with most things that have the potential for abuse, being sold openly without any kind of legislation there will be people who will abuse.

“The government either need to have a blanket ban on these kind of chemicals or implement strict guidelines for retailers to adhere to.”