Holly Strawbridge is on trial for child cruelty and drugs charges after her son Tyler Peck died of an overdose at her Devon home
A 15-year-old boy died from an overdose after taking morphine and ecstasy, sniffing aerosols and drinking alcohol with his own mother, a court has heard.
Schoolboy Tyler Peck died in his sleep in Salcombe, Devon in February last year after his mother Holly Strawbridge gave him and his friend a cocktail of drugs during in a night-in, a jury was told.
Strawbridge, a 34-year-old mother-of-five, is now on trial at Plymouth Crown Court for drugs charges and child cruelty, which she denies.
Prosecutors say Strawbridge believed that giving her son drugs was a way of helping him cope with problems in his life.
One of Tyler’s friends said that the family home in Plymouth was known as a ‘good place to get hammered’.
Prosecutor Peter Coombe said: ‘You would have thought that any parent with an ounce of interest in their children’s welfare would do anything in their power to prevent a child from doing these things. But there she was doing it with her son and also his friend.’
Tyler Peck was regularly given drugs by his mother ‘to help him cope with life’, the court heard
The prosecutor continued: ‘This is a sad and tragic case involving the completely avoidable death of a young person.
‘What makes it a very unusual case is that the person who supplied him with the drugs that he took was his mother, this defendant Holly Strawbridge.
‘She stayed with him and a friend, another 15-year-old boy, in the kitchen of their home, drinking alcohol, inhaling aerosol fumes and taking a cocktail of drugs including two particularly dangerous drugs.
‘They had been prescribed to her for medical reasons but that night she was simply abusing them together with the two boys.
‘Tyler went to sleep in the early hours and sadly he never woke up.’
The jury were told two of Tyler’s friends came over to the house, one went up to bed and slept, the other stayed with Tyler and his mother. Four younger children were also asleep upstairs and were unaware of what was happening.
The court heard that Tyler had taken the whole or part of an MDMA tablet and shared beer and peach schnapps with his mother.
Strawbridge drank beer, schnapps and shared drugs with her son and his friend, the jury heard
She also gave the boys her medication: Oramorph, a form of liquid medication containing the powerful painkiller morphine, and Gabapentin, the court heard.
Mr Coombe said the teenagers also had Valium and the painkiller Cocodamol.
Mr Coombe added: ‘She would mix the contents of some of the tablets into the boys’ drinks. The Oramorph would also be drunk from the cap.’
Mr Coombe said that friend said Tyler went to bed in the living room at about 2.30am and was heard snoring.
He added: ‘At some point after Tyler went to sleep, he died in his sleep.’
Tyler’s friend told police he went to bed at something like 4am and woke to find his friend at around midday.
The boy initially kept back details of the drug-taking from police but later spoke to his parents.
Mr Coombe said: ‘He just came out with it three words first of all: ‘Holly killed Tyler’ and went on to say how Strawbridge gave them prescription drugs and alcohol.’
The prosecutor said that the drug supply was not a one-off but ‘part of a pattern of behaviour’.
He added that friends know about Strawbridge supplying her medication.
He mentioned one friend and added: ‘In his words, that house was a good place to get hammered and get f*****d up.’
The trial continues.