Boy feared killed by ecstasy appeared in anti-drugs film

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The Independent Online

A boy who died after apparently taking ecstasy acted in an anti-drugs film screened just a week before he collapsed, it emerged yesterday.

Ben Hennessy, 15, lost consciousness after arriving at his grandfather's house near his home in St Albans on Wednesday evening. He was taken to Hemel Hempstead General Hospital, where he died. A post-mortem examination failed to establish the reason for his death and detectives are now awaiting the results of toxicology tests.

The short film, Mixing It, in which Ben acted and took the role of cameraman, was the cautionary tale of a youngster who collapses and dies after mixing drugs. Ben's mother, Shirley Bullen, went with her youngest son to see the film - the result of a government-funded initiative - when it was screened for the first time last weekat a private viewing in their local cinema.

A police spokeswoman said: "This was a film which aimed to educate children about the dangers of drugs. It was one of a series of four anti-drugs videos and very sadly, it was a cautionary tale of a youngster who mixed drugs and collapsed."

Yesterday, Ms Bullen said her "close-knit family" was "devastated" by Ben's death.