Battle for Leah’s Law continues despite opposition from Home Office
A MOTHER fighting to stop the supply of medicine to children after her 15-year-old daughter received a fatal dose has vowed to continue the fight to change the law, despite the Home Office’s refusal.
The government says it has no plans to make supplying drugs to under-16s a specific offence. Kerry Roberts, from Northallerton, is campaigning for Leah’s Law on behalf of her daughter, who died after being given high doses of ecstasy.
More than 10,000 people have signed his petition calling on the government to change the law. But in response, the Home Office said: “Protecting children from harm is a priority for the government. However, since the existing offenses already apply to the supply of drugs, we do not intend to make the supply of drugs to a child a specific offence.
“The death of Mrs. Roberts’ daughter, Leah, is a tragedy. We can assure you that this government takes drug abuse very seriously. Drugs can devastate lives, ruin families and damage communities. This government’s approach to them remains clear, we must prevent drug abuse in our communities and support people through treatment and recovery.
“It is an offense under section four of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 to supply any person with a controlled drug. It does not distinguish between different classes of persons on the basis of the age or any other characteristic.
“The offense is established simply when a person supplies a controlled drug to another person or offers to supply a controlled drug to another person. a person under the age of 16.
“Under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, the penalty for supplying Class A drugs can be up to life in prison, an unlimited fine or both. Supplying Class B and Class C drugs is punishable by up to 14 years in prison, an unlimited fine, or both.
Leah died in May 2019 after being given two large doses of ecstasy during a rally in the Applegarth car park in Northallerton. Within hours, she was dead. Two teenagers, aged 17 and 18 were prosecuted for supplying class A drugs and sentenced to 21 months and 12 months behind bars.
Ms Roberts said the Home Office‘s response was disappointing, but she expected it to be dismissed at this stage and the campaign for Leah’s Law to continue.
“I am working with North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Zoe Metcalfe and MP Kevin Hollinrake to raise the law in Parliament,” she said.
“There’s a lot going on behind the scenes. If anything, it’s made me more determined. It could take months or even years, but I’ll keep the campaign going, no other family should be going through this.”