Mother of drugs death boy sentenced to 10 years in jail

Friday 17th January 2020 1:52 pm
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Holly Strawbridge has been jailed for 10 years ()

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A South Hams mother who gave her son prescription drugs that led to his death has today been sentenced to 10 years in jail.

Holly Strawbridge, 34, of Salcombe, was found guilty of two counts of supplying Class-A drug and two counts of child cruelty on Friday, December 13.

Sentencing Strawbridge at Plymouth Crown Court, Judge Paul Darlow said she was guilty of "wilful ill-treatment" of her son and "condoned" his drug taking.

He said she was "either defensive, obstructive or undermining" of social workers who offered help.

Judge Darlow went on to say it was "callous and unreasonable" to blame two 15-year-olds, who were with her and Tyler on the night of the drugs binge, for what happened.

Det Insp Ian Ringrose said Strawbridge had "total disregard for the safety of young people" including her son and "that led to the ultimate tragedy of the loss of life".

He praised Tyler's friends for coming forward with evidence, which was "traumatic" for them, about what happened on the night.

A spokesperson for the NSPCC in the South West of England said: “Strawbridge should have been there to help and protect her son but instead she supplied him with a lethal cocktail of drink and drugs that resulted in his tragic death.

“It is difficult to comprehend how she could have behaved in such a way and it is absolutely right that she has been brought to justice for this horrendous act of child cruelty.”

Tyler died in his sleep in Carr Close, Salcombe last year with his cause of death recorded as an overdose of Oramorph and Gabapentin, as well as Valium and codeine in his system – all of which had been prescribed to Strawbridge.

Tyler was described in court as a "bright, thoughtful and caring young man" by his social workers.

A boy who was with Tyler on the evening before he died told police Strawbridge had been putting Oramorph and other drugs into their drinks.

A memorial garden in Tyler's memory is being put together at his former school, Dart Academy near Totnes.

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