Brian Dodgeon admits drug charges after party death

Isobel Jones-Reilly
Image caption Brian Dodgeon admitted four drugs charges following the death of Isobel Jones-Reilly at his home in April

A university researcher has pleaded guilty to possessing drugs after the death of a teenager during a party at his home in west London.

Brian Dodgeon, 61, who was suspended from his job at a London university, was charged after the death of Isobel Jones-Reilly in April.

The 15-year-old, a friend of Dodgeon's daughter, fell ill at his home in Barlby Road, north Kensington.

West London Magistrates' Court heard he tried to kill himself a week later.

Dodgeon, a researcher at the University of London's Institute of Education, admitted four charges of possessing drugs including ecstasy, LSD and ketamine.

Leapt from bridge

Isobel, who lived in Ramsay Road, Acton, and was a pupil at Chiswick Community School, died in hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest at the party.

The court in Hammersmith heard the cause of her death was listed as ingestion of MDMA - more commonly known as ecstasy.

Isobel was going through a "challenging" period at the time of her death and her school had referred her to drug and education services, the court heard.

Dodgeon, from north Kensington, west London, leapt from a bridge in a suicide attempt a week after the incident "in the most dramatic exhibition of remorse", Rhona Friedman, defending, said.

He fractured his skull requiring brain surgery and broke numerous other bones - including a femur, a heel and an elbow - after he jumped off a flyover on the North Circular Road in Walthamstow, east London.

Magistrates heard Dodgeon did not supply the drugs to anyone and they were stored in his bedroom, which was off-limits to party guests.

He and his partner were away at a party in Hastings when about 30 teenagers turned up at their London home.

'Old hippie'

Dodgeon, whose research subjects have included health inequalities and alcohol consumption patterns, told police that it had "never crossed his mind" that someone would find the drugs, which were valued at between £735 and £2,435.

Magistrates heard the youngsters were drinking cider, wine and spirits and smoking marijuana.

Prosecutor Nisha Dutt said Dodgeon's 14-year-old daughter told party-goers she had previously found a stash of cannabis in her father's drawer.

Three of the teenagers went to an "out-of-bounds" bedroom in search of more drugs.

There they found a canister containing a selection of drugs including capsules, plastic containers and bags.

Ms Dutt said: "Isobel took two tablets. Mr Dodgeon's daughter and two other youths took one each.

"By 3am Isobel had shown signs of deterioration. She had started hallucinating and became very hot and red-faced."

The court was told her friends wanted to call an ambulance but she insisted they did not because they would get into trouble.

"After about an hour she lay on the bed frothing at the mouth, went pale and was motionless. She stopped breathing and friends could not find a pulse," said Ms Dutt.

Eventually an ambulance was called and Isobel was taken to hospital where she was pronounced dead at 06:30 BST.

After his arrest Dodgeon told officers he was a recreational drug user, describing himself as an "old hippy", the court was told.

He said he had accumulated the drugs over a number of years.

Dodgeon will be sentenced at Isleworth Crown Court on 18 November.

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