Teen jailed over death of 'loving' girl, 15, who collapsed from ecstasy 'bomb'

Will Taylor
·News Reporter
·3-min read
Leah Heyes died after taking a toxic dose of ecstacy. (Heyes family/SWNS)
Leah Heyes died after taking a toxic dose of ecstasy. (Heyes family/SWNS)

Two teenagers have been jailed for supplying ecstasy that killed a “really loving” 15-year-old girl.

Leah Heyes collapsed in a car park in Northallerton, North Yorkshire, after taking crystallised MDMA that she bought with a group of friends, and later died in hospital.

An inquest into her death was told she took two “bombs” – each dose being enough to kill her – on 11 May, 2019, after being told she would “end up f***** up on this”.

Two men, Mitchell Southern, 19, and Connor Kirkwood, 18, were jailed at Teesside Crown Court on Monday for their role in her death.

Southern, of Thirsk, admitted supplying Class A drugs, having approached Kirkwood for Heyes and then passed her money on to buy the MDMA.

One of the two teenagers who provided statements to police about Heyes’ death said Southern told them: “Yous are going to end up f***** up on this.”

Leah Heyes, who died aged 15, with her mum Kerry. (SWNS)
Leah Heyes, who died aged 15, with her mum Kerry. (SWNS)

After taking the second “bomb”, Heyes suffered a bad reaction that was seen by a CCTV operator who sent police to the scene.

Heyes suffered a “rapid cardiac arrest” after taking the doses, North Yorkshire Coroner’s Court heard earlier in November.

“She was just 15 years old,” Judge Jonathan Carroll said.

“She had everything to live for, the excitement rightfully held by young people in anticipation of their futures, a new sister on the way whom she never got to meet, all of that hope and aspiration for the future extinguished because of the evil that drugs represent in our society.”

He said young people can think drugs are fun and that they won’t come to harm, and added that “drugs destroy lives”.

Kirkwood, of Dishforth, who was 17 at the time, admitted supplying MDMA and a separate charge related to a £30 cocaine deal. He said he was not there when Heyes took the dose.

He said he was aware of young males “bombing” and was concerned at how much they were taking, the court heard.

Leah Heyes collapsed in a car park after taking lethal doses of MDMA. (SWNS/Heyes family)
Leah Heyes collapsed in a car park after taking lethal doses of MDMA. (SWNS/Heyes family)

Robert Mochrie, for Southern, said his client was remorseful for his friend Heyes’ death, while Helen Chapman, defending Kirkwood, said her client is sorry he dealt drugs to the group of young people.

Southern was given 12 months in a young offender institution, with Judge Carroll saying he had been “basking in the bravado” of the drug deal.

Kirkwood was given 21 months in a young offender institution.

“You went into this with your eyes wide open,” the judge told him, adding that he had been exploited by senior criminals.

“It was stupid, it was immature, but you knew what you were about.”

Heyes’ mother Kerry Roberts was praised by the judge. She was three months pregnant at the time her daughter died.

She has since warned about the dangers of taking MDMA. She believes her daughter had tried to impress a boy by having the drug.

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She said: “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?”

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