Teenager sentenced following drugs death of 14-year-old girl

|News, Drug offences

A teenager has been sentenced to four years in a young offenders detention centre for supplying the drugs that led to the death of a 14-year-old girl.

The Crown Prosecution Service said that Connor Parrish, 19, of Cobden Avenue in Tranmere, on the Wirral, supplied MDMA to another teenager who then gave them to Bethany Devlin-McCrone.

Bethany, from Greasby in the Wirral, had a friend to stay on the night of 24 July 2018 when the two girls decided to buy drugs. A 14-year-old friend of theirs collected them from Parrish at a service station in Greasby.

They each took a pill and some powder mixed with liquid in a Lucozade bottle at about 11.15pm.

At some point, Bethany’s behaviour became erratic. She was hyperactive, screaming at the wall and punching it, screaming at herself in front of a mirror. She then lay on the floor. It was about 1.15am. Her friend tried to rouse Bethany but she was unresponsive and had no pulse.

Her friend called to Bethany’s mother for help. An ambulance was called and several paramedics tried their best to revive Bethany but failed.

Police traced Parrish as the dealer from messages on the phones of the teenagers and his home was searched. They found Ketamine and cocaine and drug dealing paraphernalia.

Parrish admitted to officers that he’d been selling MDMA and Cocaine for “approximately three to four months” leading up to July 2018.

They seized his phone and found messages from Bethany claiming to be feeling no effects from having taken the MDMA, but then later saying it was “Amazing!”.

Forensic tests revealed that Bethany had taken a particularly high dose of MDMA and the cause of death was MDMA toxicity.

Today (2 October 2019) at a Plea and Trial Preparation Hearing at Liverpool Crown Court, Connor Parrish pleaded guilty to three counts of supplying a controlled drug, one count of possessing a Class A drug and one count of possessing a Class B drug. He was sentenced straight away to four years in a young offenders detention centre.

Matt Harvey, for the CPS, said: “Forensic experts said that the concentration of MDMA in Bethany’s blood stream was ‘extremely high, well within the reported fatal range’.

“Connor Parrish has expressed remorse for what he has done and pleaded guilty at an early stage, but that is of little comfort to Bethany’s family who have been devastated by her death.

“In a Victim Personal Statement which was read to the court, her mother blamed social media for making her daughter feel that she should take drugs to ‘fit in’ with a crowd.

“She said the whole family have been broken by the events of that night and that she cannot forget the moment that she had to see her daughter lying dead on her bedroom floor.

“This case is yet more proof that drugs can be deadly and that supplying them, however small scale that dealing may be, can lead to tragedy.

“Connor Parrish will have to come to terms with his role in this tragedy in the years ahead. In her statement, Bethany’s mother said she feels her family have their own life sentence now to serve. This is a very sad case indeed.”

Notes to editors

  • Matt Harvey is a District Crown Prosecutor for CPS Mersey-Cheshire.

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