Two men have been jailed for supplying the illegal drugs that killed a North Yorkshire schoolgirl.
Leah Heyes, 15, of Northallerton, collapsed and died after taking MDMA in May 2019.
Connor Kirkwood, 18, from Dishforth, and Mitchell Southern, 19, from Thirsk, both pleaded guilty to supplying her with the MDMA, also known as ecstasy, at Teesside Crown Court earlier this year.
Kirkwood also pleaded guilty to supplying cocaine.
They were both jailed today (Monday). Kirkwood was given 21 months’ imprisonment and Southern was given 12 months’ imprisonment.
Leah died on the night of 11 May last uear after taking MDMA in the Applegarth park in Northallerton.
The drugs were brought into Northallerton by Kirkwood, with Southern handing them over to Leah, wrapping them in a cigarette paper to create what is known as a ‘bomb’.
Leah collapsed shortly after taking them, and despite the efforts of medical staff, died later that night at James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough.
‘An absolute tragedy’
Detective Inspector Eamonn Clarke of Northallerton CID, said: “Our thoughts remain with Leah’s family at this time. Her death was an absolute tragedy that has left a family devastated and the local community in shock.
“We plead with parents to make sure they know what their children are doing and to educate them on the harm that drugs can cause, and there is no greater harm than the death of a young person who had her whole life ahead of her.
“North Yorkshire Police continues to prioritise the disruption of drug supply and bring those responsible to justice. We have teams across the county dedicated to disrupting dealers and protecting vulnerable people.
“Our action is directed by information, and much of that information comes from local communities.
“So we need the public’s help, we need your information about drugs and drug dealing in your neighbourhood. Please look out for the signs and call the police.”
‘She went to see friends… and never came back’
Leah’s mother, Kerry Roberts issued the following statement: “We miss Leah every day, her death left a huge hole in our lives that can never be filled.
“No sentence can ever change that, but what we do wish for, is for young people to realise the deadly consequences of taking drugs. That adults are not just saying they are dangerous to spoil your fun, but that you truly understand how dangerous they are.
“You have your whole life ahead of you, please don’t risk losing it. If Leah’s death has not made you think twice, what will?
“I would not want any other family to go through the devastation of losing a child in such horrendous and needless circumstances.”
Kerry had a strong message for parents too. “Leah went out to spend time with her friends and have fun that night. And she never came back.
“We’ll never see her again, we’ll never speak to her again, her baby sister will never know her.
“To parents I urge you to really know what your children are doing, find out more about the dangers of drugs and don’t think that just because your children tell you they don’t take them, that they really don’t.”