United Kingdom

Teenager, 18, drowned on water-logged parkland after taking Ecstasy - as dealer jailed three years

A teenager collapsed and drowned on an area of rain-soaked grass after taking Ecstasy, a court heard.

Ben Moughton, 18, was treated by paramedics, but was dead on arrival at hospital after being found face down in the water-logged ground in Linear Park, Lowestoft, Suffolk.

Ipswich Crown Court heard how he and his friends had earlier bought nine Ecstasy pills for £40 from Cory Phipps who was then also aged 18.

Phipps of Lowestoft, now 19, was sentenced to 32 months youth detention after he admitted supplying the pills and possessing 13 others with intent to supply.

He also admitted a third charge of supplying MDMA between December 29, 2019, and May 31, 2020, following a police examination of his mobile phone.

Ben Moughton, 18, was treated by paramedics, but was dead on arrival at hospital after being found face down in the water-logged ground in Linear Park, Lowestoft, Suffolk

Phipps told Ben and his friends that the batch of drugs he had bought off the dark web and sold them was 'really good'.

Prosecutor Hugh Vass said: 'Ben began to behave strangely and his friends were sufficiently concerned that they called another friend so he could be taken somewhere safer.

'He kept walking off and finally it appears he ended up lying in a puddle or wet grass by some bushes.

'Eventually a 999 call was made and paramedics arrived but, sadly, by the time he arrived in hospital, and after having a cardiac arrest in the ambulance, he was declared dead on arrival.'

A post-mortem listed Ben's cause of death on May 30 last year as a drug-related drowning.

Ipswich Crown Court heard how he and his friends had earlier bought nine Ecstasy pills for £40 from Cory Phipps (pictured) who was then also aged 18

The court heard how tests later revealed that the pills had double the average concentration of MDMA.

Judge Martyn Levett told Phipps: 'Drugs can never be 100 per cent safe and by purchasing drugs off the dark web, there is no indication of the source or the circumstances in which they have been prepared.'

Stephen Dyble, defending, told the court that Phipps had shown 'genuine remorse' and 'deep regret'.

He added: 'There is an element of tragedy that a young man, 18 when this happened, from a relatively good family background now stands on the precipice of losing his liberty at a time of his life when he should be concentrating on education.

'He has now knuckled down, stopped taking drugs, and hopes to go to university in the autumn.'

Ben's mother Amanda Kennedy blamed his death on 'one crazy decision' which 'destroyed the lives of so many', and said she felt no malice to Phipps.

Ipswich Crown Court (pictured) heard how 'Ben began to behave strangely and his friends were sufficiently concerned they called another friend so he could be taken somewhere safer

She added in a statement: 'No one should be scared to try and get help for someone, especially in fear where they may get into trouble.

'It was noted several times by Ben's friends that it appeared he was in trouble.

'I don't live far away and it would've been good if someone had alerted me and I could've been there to try and help. I'm not saying it would've changed the outcome, but it might've given him a chance.

'We need basic life support taught in schools and it may have given his friend's a chance to give him first aid.

'I would also like to raise awareness of the strong pills on our streets that are so dangerous to young people and everyone. I don't want another mother to go through what I've gone through.'

In a separate victim impact statement, she said her son, also known as Ben Smith, was 'adored and loved by so many people.'

She said: 'We will never get to see Ben get married or have children. All of our hopes and dreams for him have gone.

'I was so proud of him. He was an amazing and talented young man who had so much to live for and it has all been taken away from him due to one crazy decision.

'Ben always wanted to fill his day and life with as much as possible and would often say 'Yolo' to me, meaning 'you only live once'.

'There are no words to describe what you feel after being told your son has passed away.'

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