Court hears how mom poured morphine into beer that led to son's death
A mother has been found guilty of joining her 15-year-old son in a drugs binge just hours before the schoolboy died from an overdose.
Holly Strawbridge, 35, shared powerful painkillers with her son, Tyler Peck, and his friend in her kitchen.
The mother-of-five – accused of wanting to be a "cool parent" – poured liquid morphine into their beer and gave them strips of a powerful painkiller at her home in the upmarket town of Salcombe, Devon, in February. Tyler’s friends told police the house had become a "place to get hammered".
On the night of the tragedy, Strawbridge gave the two 15-year-olds spirits and powerful painkillers that had been prescribed to her. They also sniffed aerosols together, Plymouth Crown Court heard. Tyler, who had a history of drink and drug abuse, died in his sleep hours later.
His friend, who cannot be named for legal reasons, described waking up to find his best friend lifeless, describing the situation as ‘all f***** up’. He told police they’d had a mixture of beer, peach schnapps, aerosol fumes, morphine, Valium, codeine and a powerful painkiller called Gabapentin.
He added: "You get pretty messed up by it. I’m not doing it again after what’s happened. I’m never touching another pill."
Strawbridge’s husband Gavin and her four younger children were asleep upstairs as the tragedy unfolded. She denied two counts of supplying the boys with a Class A drug, and also pleaded not guilty to two counts of cruelty relating to sharing the drugs and alcohol with the teenagers.
Strawbridge, who worked in a charity shop, denied giving either of the boys anything other than beer as Friday night turned to Saturday morning. She also claimed that Tyler’s friends were making up stories about her supplying them with drugs, but a jury of eight women and four men found her guilty of all counts.
During the trial, jurors heard that Tyler started smoking at the age of nine, used cannabis at 12 and moved on to hard drugs when he was 13 or 14. He had mostly grown up with his father and stepmother, but had been allowed to live with his mother for the last four months of his life – despite the concerns of his mental health worker and social workers.
Prosecutor Peter Coombe said: "She wanted to be a cool parent and to be popular with young people. Holly Strawbridge seemed to have got it into her head that drinking and using drugs were useful ways for him to cope with life."
Strawbridge will be sentenced on January 17.Daily Mail