Devon

Tyler Peck death: Mum 'gave son, 15, drink and drugs'

Tyler Peck Image copyright Family Photo
Image caption Tyler Peck was found dead at a house in Salcombe, Devon

A mother gave her 15-year-old son a mixture of drugs and alcohol before his death, a court has heard.

Tyler Peck was found dead by friends in Salcombe, Devon, in February. He died of a drugs overdose.

He drank alcohol and liquid morphine, took prescription drugs and inhaled an aerosol with his mother Holly Strawbridge present, jurors heard.

Mrs Strawbridge, of Church Street, denies two counts of supplying a class A drug and two counts of child cruelty.

Opening the case at Plymouth Crown Court, Mr Laws said the River Dart Academy pupil was popular and had a wide circle of friends, but he could be difficult to manage.

'Cope with life'

He said Tyler had drunk alcohol from "quite an early age" and regularly took drugs.

"Holly Strawbridge seemed to have got it into her head that drinking and using drugs were useful ways for him to cope with life.

"She not only tolerated his drug use, but actively encouraged it."

Image copyright Daniel French
Image caption After Tyler Peck's death the Holy Trinity Church in Salcombe invited people to light a candle in memory of the teenager

Jurors heard that on the night of 1 February Tyler had been with friends in a cottage in Malborough, where he drank beer and had part of an ecstasy tablet.

When Tyler returned home with other friends, the teenager was given beer and peach schnapps by Miss Strawbridge and then a prescribed drug.

"It is the prosecution's case that she also give him medication," Mr Laws said.

"It's not the kind of thing you can buy over the counter in chemists. It is Oromorph - a liquid which contains morphine."

'Tablets in drinks'

Mr Laws told jurors Miss Strawbridge, Tyler and another teenager - who cannot be named for legal reasons - had a "pretty heavy session of drinking, drug-taking and aerosol-huffing" and stayed up to the early hours of the morning.

They took gabapentin, valium and co-codamol in the presence of his mother, the court heard.

Mr Laws added: "She would mix the contents of some of the tablets into the boys' drinks. The Oromorphe was offered to them out of the cap.

"Any parent with an ounce of interest in their child's welfare would be doing anything to prevent their child doing these things."

Note: This trial was abandoned due to sickness within the legal team. The trial restarted before a new jury on 3 December.

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