A 15 – year-old boy died of an overdose after his mum supplied him with morphine and other drugs as she joined in a binge session with his mate, a court heard.
Tyler Peck was found dead in his sleep by his pal after his mum, 34 – year-old Holly Strawbridge, had mixed medications into their drinks in “an astonishing piece of parenting,” a jury at PlymouthCrown Courtwas told.
Strawbridge, her son and his mate, also 15, mixed the drugs with booze and beer and peach schnapps wh ile the lads also had MDMA, Valium and sniffed aerosols with the mum during the fatal bender, prosecutors claim.
But the mum told police it was “an ordinary Friday night, “reportsPlymouth Live.
Simon Laws, QC, for the Crown, said: “The prosecution say it was an astonishing piece of parenting.
” Any parent with an ounce of interest in their children’s welfare would do anything in their power to prevent a child from doing these things.
“But there she was doing it with her son and also his friend.”
Strawbridge, now of Church Street, Salcombe, is on trial having pleaded not guilty to supplying the two boys with morphine between January 31 and February 3
She also pleaded not guilty to two further charges of cruelty towards the two boys between the same dates .
The court heard two pals found Tyler dead in his bed at lunchtime at the address in Salcombe, south Devon.
Mr Laws claims Strawbridge believed giving her son drugs was a way of helping him cope with problems in his life.
He told the court: “This is a sad and tragic case involving the completely avoidable death of a young person.
“ What makes it a very unusual case is that the person who supplied him with the drugs that he took was his mother, this defendant Holly Strawbridge.
“She sat with him and a friend, another 15 – year-old boy, in the kitchen of their home, drinking alcohol, inhaling aerosol fumes and taking a cocktail of drugs including two particularly dangerous drugs.
“They had been prescribed to her for medical reasons but that night she was simply abusing them together with the two boys .
“Tyler went to sleep in the early hours and sadly he never woke up.”
Tyler was “very challenging and difficult to manage as a parent.”
He had “drunk alcohol from quite an early stage “and” regularly took all manner of drugs, “the Mr Laws told the court.
Tyler, who Mr Laws said was “popular and had left behind a wide circle of friends” could also be “unruly and aggressive, perhaps especially when he had taken something.”
He added: “But somewhere along the line Holly Strawbridge seems to have got it into her head that drinking and taking drugs were useful ways for him to cope with life.
“She not only tolerated his drugs use, she actively encouraged it.”
Mr Laws said that Friday night Tyler had been out with friends, but one of their fathers had given them a lift to Strawbridge’s then home in Carr Close in Salcombe at about 10. 30 pm.
The court heard that Tyler had taken a whole or part of an MDMA tablet.
The barrister said Tyler and two 15 – year-old boys planned to stay the night, sleeping in the same room.
One of the boys went to bed and took no part
Mr Laws said Strawbridge sat in the kitchen sharing beer and peach schnapps with the other two 15 – year-olds.
She also gave the boys her medication: Oramorph, a form of liquid medication, and Gabapentin.
The teenagers also had Valium and the painkiller Cocodamol.
Mr Laws added: “She would mix the contents of some of the tablets into the boys’ drinks. She offered them Oramorph from the bottle cap and she would also mix it in their drinks. ”
The barrister said that Strawbridge and the boys also inhaled fumes from an aerosol .
Tyler went to bed at about 2. 30 am. The two 15 – year-olds found Tyler dead at about noon the next day. His cause of death was found to be a drugs overdose.
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Mr Laws said Strawbridge had denied giving either of the boys drugs in police interview.
“She added it was nothing to do with her. It was an ordinary Friday night, “he added.
Earlier, trial judge Paul Darlow asked the jury to consider the evidence with“ absolute objectivity ”.
He added that the panel would disapprove of some of the behavior described in court and also have sympathy with other witnesses.
Strawbridge wore a gray zipped top and blue trousers in the dock before a packed Courtroom 3.
Tyler’s father and grandparents were among those sitting at the back of court, along with a group of students.
The trial, heard by a jury of ten women and two men, continues. It is expected to take between five and seven working days.