CONTENT WARNING: The following article may distress some readers. If you need assistance, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636.
A Knockout Circuz festival attendee has told the NSW Coroners Court that she was "treated like a criminal" during a police strip search at the 2017 event.
The statement was made by a young woman during the inquest into a number of drug-related deaths at festivals across New South Wales which is taking place in Sydney this week.
As reported by ABC, the woman (who was a friend of 18-year-old Nathan Tran, who passed away at the event) was walked through the festival crowd to a room and then strip-searched by a female officer after a drug detection dog indicated a positive reaction.
"She said, 'If you don't tell me where the drugs are I'm going to make this nice and slow'," she said during the inquest. "She made me take my shorts off and my underwear.
"Then she made me squat and cough ... and then I had to turn around and squat and cough."
The inquest, which commenced Monday at the NSW Coroner's Court in Lidcombe, is investigating the deaths of 19-year-old Alex Ross-King who died from a suspected overdose at FOMO Festival in Sydney in January, Justin Tam, 22, who ingested an "unknown substance" at Lost Paradise festival in December, Callum Brosnan, 19, who died from a suspected overdose at Sydney's Knockout Games Of Destiny dance party in December, and Joseph Pham, 23, and Diana Nguyen, 21, who attended the Defqon event in Penrith last September, as well as Tran.
Since the inquest began, it's been revealed that Brosnan may have taken up to nine MDMA capsules prior to his death at the festival.
It's also been found that Ross-King consumed almost three MDMA capsules prior to entering FOMO festival in January as she was afraid being caught by police.
The inquest will continue tomorrow.