Schoolboy, 14, dies after taking spice with friend at sleepover

Luke Pennington suffers ‘severe reaction’ after using drug at house in Stockport

Tom Embury-Dennis
Friday 30 March 2018 17:04 BST
Luke Pennington died after taking Spice at a friend's home in Manchester
Luke Pennington died after taking Spice at a friend's home in Manchester (Facebook)

A 14-year-old schoolboy died after taking spice with a friend at a sleepover, an inquest has heard.

Luke Pennington suffered a ‘severe reaction’ immediately after taking the drug at a house in Stockport on 17 March.

Stockport Coroner’s Court heard Luke and a group of friends had bought the substance earlier that evening.

Luke, from Bramhall, had taken it first, followed by a friend, a senior police officer told the hearing.

Paramedics were called to the house when Luke and his friend fell ill. The pair were rushed to Wythenshawe Hospital.

Rita Wilkinson, a senior police officer at Greater Manchester Police (GMP), told the inquest: “Luke was with some friends at a sleepover.

“They had purchased some spice and that was taken. Luke had taken it first followed by one of his friends.

“Luke had a severe reaction immediately after and paramedics were called.”

Luke was later taken to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, but died at 1.55am on 18 March in the hospital’s intensive care unit.

The teenager’s death is being treated as "unascertained" until histology and toxicology reports have been completed, the court heard.

Luke, who attended St James Catholic High School in Cheadle Hulme, was described by his teachers as "popular and well-liked".

St James’ headteacher Tim Beesley said earlier this month: “Our thoughts, prayers and sympathy go out to his family and friends at this very difficult time.

“We are offering support for any of our students who have been affected by his death, particularly those who knew him, as he was a very popular and well-liked member of our school community.”

GMP arrested a 16-year-old boy on suspicion of possession with intent to supply class A drugs on 21 March. The teen was released on bail pending further enquiries.

Assistant coroner for south Manchester Andrew Bridgman set a date for a full inquest on 3 October.

Spice is a mixture of herbs and manmade chemicals that attempt to simulate the effects of marijuana – but are often much stronger.

In 2016, possession of the former legal high became a criminal offence, with the psychoactive considered a class B substance.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in