Tyler Peck: Mum of teen who died after drugs binge 'wanted to be cool', court hears

By Maria Zaccaro   |   Local Democracy Reporter   |
Wednesday 4th December 2019 10:07 am
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Holly Strawbridge, 34, denies two counts of supplying a class A drug and two counts of child cruelty (Credit: Facebook) ()

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A South Hams mum accused of giving her 15-year-old son a cocktail of drugs before his death was trying to be “cool”, a court has heard.

Tyler Peck died at Holly Strawbridge’s house in Salcombe in February this year.

Plymouth Crown Court heard Mrs Strawbridge, 34, of Church Street, had plied her teenage son with morphine and prescription painkillers.

She denies two counts of supplying a class A drug and two counts of child cruelty.

Opening the prosecution, Peter Coombe said Mrs Strawbridge was trying to be "cool" and wanted to be liked by teenagers.

Her home was well known as a place where she would supply young people with heavy-duty painkillers Oramorph and Gabapentin, which had been prescribed to her, he said.

Mr Coombe said Tyler regularly took drugs and his mother encouraged him, even selling him Valium on one occasion.

"He had been drinking alcohol from an early age and had taken all manner of illegal drugs," he said.

The court was shown a short video taken on a phone in which Tyler and his mother were seen in an intoxicated state on the night before he died.

"You would have thought that any parent with an ounce of interest in her child’s welfare would have done anything they could to avoid doing these sorts of things with her son," said Mr Coombe.

The jury heard that another 15-year-old who was with Tyler and his mother on the same evening later told his parents "Holly killed Tyler".

"Holly Strawbridge seemed to have got it into her head that drinking and using drugs were useful ways for him to cope with life," said Mr Coombe.

Friends of Tyler told police the house was "a place to get hammered".

"She wanted to be a cool parent and to be popular with young people," said Mr Coombe.

The trial continues.

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