Salcombe schoolboy Tyler Peck died after drugs binge with mum, court hears

By Maria Zaccaro   |   Local Democracy Reporter   |
Monday 11th November 2019 4:10 pm
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Tyler Peck died of an overdose at a house in Salcombe in February (Credit: Devon and Cornwall Police) ()

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A South Hams mum gave her 15-year-old son drugs and alcohol before he died of an overdose, a court has heard.

Tyler Peck was found dead at their house in Salcombe in February this year.

Plymouth Crown Court heard he drank alcohol and liquid morphine, took prescription drugs and inhaled an aerosol with his mum Holly Strawbridge.

Mrs Strawbridge, 34, of Church Street, denies two counts of supplying a class A drug and two counts of child cruelty.

Simon Laws, prosecuting, said the River Dart Academy pupil was popular and had a wide circle of friends, but he could be difficult to manage.

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,” he said.

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

Jurors heard that Tyler had been with friends in a cottage in Malborough on February 1, 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 Mrs Strawbridge and then a prescribed drug.

"It is the prosecution’s case that she also gave 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."

Mr Laws told jurors Mrs 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."

The trial continues.