Coroner issues warning after boy's ecstasy death

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The Independent Online
A coroner yesterday issued a heartfelt plea to teenagers after the death of a 15-year-old boy who took an overdose of ecstasy tablets hidden by his mother's boyfriend in their home.

Recording a verdict that Aaron Fairhurst died through the abuse of a non-dependent drug, John Pollard, the Crewe coroner, said: "All illicit drugs are horrendous. They are not to be played with lightly and the scourge of the relatively new drug ecstasy is particularly worrying . . . I make a plea from the heart to all teenagers and anyone else tempted to use ecstasy or any other illicit drugs to bear in mind that you don't know where they were prepared or how well or badly they were manufactured. Quite frankly, you don't know what you are putting in your body. It is a most foolish and stupid thing to do."

Aaron's mother, Lisa, 31, and her boyfriend, Gareth Charles, who were regular drug users but have renounced the habit, backed the coroner's warning. Ms Fairhurst told the inquest that Mr Charles had bought the ecstasy tablets for their use and hidden them in their house in Northwich, Cheshire.

She said that on the night of 25 May, she heard a noise from her son's room. When she and her boyfriend went to investigate they found Aaron was "soaking wet but very hot and had all the classic symptoms of an ecstasy overdose or reaction". He was taken to hospital in Crewe, where he died.

Ms Fairhurst and her boyfriend later both admitted possessing cannabis and ecstasy and were placed on probation for six months by Northwich magistrates.

tA British international synchronised swimmer was jailed for two years yesterday for offering tablets for sale at a nightclub rave which she believed were ecstasy. In fact, Louise Skidmore, 22, of Bristol - national champion in 1988 - was selling pills which contained no controlled drug. Her co- defendant at Plymouth Crown Court, Leona Nicholls, 23, was also jailed for two years.