The 29-year-old student had been ill for weeks after a friend had drunk her on a night out to ‘make her laugh’.

  • Gillian Reilly was on a night out with friends when she started feeling ‘weird’.
  • When at home Gillian was dizzy and felt ‘violently ill’ – which lasted for weeks.
  • She was later told that someone she thought was a friend stared at her for ‘laughing’.
  • Gillian feels cheated and wants to raise awareness about spiking in universities.

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A student told of her horror after learning about her drinking through a friend who later admitted she thought it would be a ‘laughter’.

Gillian Riley, 29, went with friends to her student union bar for her end-of-year night at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh.

The final-year student, who was studying drama at the time, was excited to spend the evening with friends but during the night he started to feel like ‘things were coming out of me’.

She managed to get herself home, where she felt dizzy and had severe stomach pains. Her symptoms of feeling sick continued for ‘weeks and weeks’.

She was later told by a friend that another person she considered a close friend ‘thought it would be funny to put something in her drink’.

Gillian Reilly said she felt 'really betrayed' after discovering a supposed friend spiked her drink 'for a laugh'.

Gillian Reilly said she felt ‘really betrayed’ after discovering a supposed friend spiked her drink ‘for a laugh’.

Gillian said: ‘We always had an end of year party at university, and I went with all my friends I’d known for a while.

‘I was in my final year so it was going to be goodbye for a lot of us. I was drinking anything that was handed to me, and having a great time, but soon I started to feel weird.

‘When I got back to my flat I felt really weird, it wasn’t like being drunk normally.

‘I was really dizzy at first – but then I got this sharp pain in my stomach, and I started getting really sick.

‘It was the day after that when I knew something was really wrong – it felt like I was falling out, I’d been sick for weeks and weeks.

‘I felt so sick I honestly thought I was going to die. It’s scary to think that it’s not just strangers you need to look out for. Sometimes, it’s people you know.’

Gillian Reilly pictured in 2016 when she was a student at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh.

Gillian Reilly pictured in 2016 when she was a student at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh.

Gillian Reilly pictured in 2016 when she was a student at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh.

The ordeal took place in 2016 but she has been able to cope and talk about it recently.

She said: ‘I really cheated, you think you can trust people and it just made me doubt who I could trust.

‘At the time I didn’t tell anyone because I had been physically assaulted before and no one believed me.

‘They even said I would rather hurt myself than admit to my att*cker – so I’m very careful about coming forward from now on.’

Ms Reilly, who has now started studying adult nursing at the University of Stirling, says her past experiences still haunt her.

‘It has made me wary of going out and going to clubs. I was really careful in fresher’s week and I’m very careful about who I go out with.

‘However, there is still a need for a lot of security to help people out at night.

‘There are drunken, weak people roaming around the campus, where is the security to get them home?’

Last year, spiking at the university reached alarming proportions, with reports of needles being used to spike people.

Ms Riley continued: ‘Starting university is supposed to be fun – you don’t have to think about these things.

‘You’re meeting a lot of new people and you’d like to think that these people can be friends, but that’s not necessarily the case.

‘You can meet people who do it to hurt you, or in my case, people who think it’s funny to bounce people.’

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