Kent

Jason Wilkes jailed over daughter's MDMA drug death

Chloe Wilkes Image copyright SWNS
Image caption Chloe Wilkes had been taking drugs, including MDMA and ketamine, since she was 13 years old

A father who supplied his teenage daughter with the drug MDMA and delayed getting medical treatment when she became ill has been jailed for five years and four months for killing her.

Jason Wilkes, 45, pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the opening day of his trial at Maidstone Crown Court.

He had pleaded guilty to supplying a class A drug at an earlier hearing.

Chloe Wilkes, 17, died after falling ill at their home in Tunbridge Way in Ashford, Kent, on 27 July.

An inquest into her death was adjourned in August.

MDMA is the base that ecstasy is made from before it is mixed with other chemicals to form a tablet, and is sold as a powder that is snorted or swallowed.

'Agitated and disorientated'

Wilkes and his daughter had taken drugs, including ecstasy and cocaine, together at least three times before but text messages between them showed it was a regular occurrence, prosecutor James Mulholland QC told the court on Tuesday.

Two days before her death, Wilkes and Chloe had taken a gram of cocaine and a gram of MDMA between them, staying up all night.

The following day, Wilkes bought another gram of MDMA and each wrapped half a gram of it up in a cigarette paper and swallowed it with water - "a method of ingestion called bombing", the prosecutor said.

By 01:00 BST on 27 July, Chloe had started to become agitated and disorientated, Mr Mulholland said.

The court heard Wilkes failed to get medical help for Chloe for more than an hour - driving her first to a woodland area on the edge of Ashford, and then to an industrial estate where he worked, in an attempt to cool her down rather than taking her to the nearest hospital, which was less than three miles away.

Image copyright Kent Police
Image caption Jason Wilkes failed to get medical help for his daughter Chloe for more than an hour

He eventually called 999 at 02:01, telling the operator his daughter was not breathing and did not have a pulse.

Chloe died later that day in hospital.

'Life cut short'

The court heard, had he sought medical help for his daughter, hospital staff might have been able to stop her overheating, which caused her heart to stop.

A toxicology report showed Chloe had 3.1mg of MDMA per litre in her blood, enough to prove fatal.

Cocaine was also found in her blood, the court heard.

Wilkes, who split up with Chloe's mother when she was nine or 10, later told police his daughter had been taking drugs, including MDMA and ketamine, since she was 13 years old.

Sentencing him, Judge Philip Statman said: "You will lead the rest of your life knowing that your conduct led to the death of your daughter who in my judgment you loved.

"That's an enormous burden for you to have to carry with you, but it is not just your burden.

"She is lost to her mother, brother and her extended family, a life tragically cut short."

Det Insp Richard Vickery, from the Kent and Essex serious crime directorate, said Wilkes had "denied her the chance of survival".

"He was there as Chloe's role model and father. She was an impressionable teenager and she clearly looked up to her father.

"Not only did he legitimise the taking of class A drugs, he actively encouraged it," he said.

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