Mum Forgives Teenager Who Gave Her Daughter, 15, The Ecstasy That Killed Her

14/08/2014 16:59 | Updated 20 May 2015

E Ecstasy pills or tablets close up studio shot methylenedioxymethamphetamine

A grieving mum says she forgives the teenager who gave her 15-year-old daughter a fatal dose of ecstasy.

Anne-Marie Cockburn said Alex Williams, 17, who supplied the fatal drug to her daughter Martha, 15, 'is still young enough to make amends in his life'.

Williams, who was said to be 'consumed with guilt' following Martha's death, was given a youth rehabilitation order by a judge at Oxford Crown Court.

Speaking afterwards, Ms Cockburn warned that the war on drugs in Britain is not working because Martha 'was a middle-class girl in a north Oxford school and look what happened'.

She said she couldn't stay angry with Williams for the rest of her life and said she wanted to work with him to try to change people's minds about legalising and regulating some drugs.

Ms Cockburn, said: "I hope he decides to make a positive change and give something back to the world. He is still young enough to make amends in his life.

"If he is willing to work with me then together we could raise awareness.

"I personally feel that the war on drugs in the UK is not working. I think as a nation we need to look at it and be more realistic about it.

"Martha was a middle-class girl in a north Oxford school and look what happened.

"That shows what the current drug education and legislation lead to. There has got to be another way, because the current way is not working."

A friend of Martha's, who cannot be named for legal reasons, bought a gram of MDMA from Williams for £40 pounds in Oxford on July 17 last year.

After the drugs had been split between them, Williams said: "This is new stuff so I'm not sure what it will be like."

Three days later Martha told her friend she was going to take her half of the drugs. They met up and walked into Oxford.

David Povall, prosecuting, said that Martha, who had used drugs before, then took out a small bag and swallowed the MDMA, which soon took effect.

Mr Povall told the court: "Martha was saying the drugs were amazing, it feels like a dream, it's better than the last time that we did it."

Friends noticed Martha was sweating a lot and seemed to be overheating and she said she was going for a swim in the pond to cool down.

"At that point Martha collapsed," said Mr Povall. Her legs went from underneath her."

She was taken to hospital but died soon after. Tests were carried out on the other half of the MDMA the pair had bought and it was found to be 91 per cent pure.

On average MDMA seized in the Thames Valley last year was 58.5 per cent and ranges nationally between one and 88 per cent.

Although there was no suggestion that Williams, who handed himself in, was a major drug dealer or knew the purity of the MDMA, he refused to tell police whether he had sold the potentially lethal substance to anyone else.

Judge Mary Jane Mowat said she had received a victim impact statement from Martha's mother, adding: "As the mother of an only child myself and an Oxford mother at that, I have to say that every part of me resonates with the despair that she describes."

She told Williams, from Botley, Oxford: "There is no escaping the fact that, in part because of your actions, a bright young girl aged 15 lost her life."

Williams was given a youth rehabilitation order with a supervision requirement for 18 months and an activity requirement doing work for a charity.

The teenager will also wear an electronic tag and be under curfew from 7pm to 7am for 90 days and was ordered to go on drugs programme.

Williams had admitted a single count of supplying a controlled drug.


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