Leah Heyes Wiki
Leah Heyes Biography
Who was Leah Heyes ?
A mother whose daughter died after taking ecstasy has struck up an “unlikely” friendship with the mother of the teenager who gave her the fatal drug.
Kerry Roberts’ daughter Leah Heyes collapsed after taking MDMA supplied by Connor Kirkwood.
After agreeing to meet her mother, Tammy, Ms. Roberts said that she realized that they had both “lost something” as a result of the drug.
They are campaigning together to educate young people about drugs.
Leah died in May 2019 after taking the Class A drug with a group of friends in a parking lot in Northallerton, North Yorkshire.wikipedia
The drugs were brought into town by Connor, then 17, with another boy, Mitchell Southern, and he gave them to Leah.
Dishforth’s Connor was jailed for 21 months last year, but after serving six months of his sentence he was released for good behavior.
The mothers met through restorative justice, a process in which crime victims can meet those who committed the crime against them.
Although Mrs. Roberts did not want to meet Connor, she suggested that by meeting her mother they could share and understand each other’s stories.
How old was Leah Heyes ?
She was 15 year old.
Kerry Roberts said she and her daughter Leah had the “best relationship”
She gave Ms. Kirkwood the opportunity to explain how she had been struggling for years to get help for Connor.
She had become involved in the county’s border gangs, which target vulnerable teens and use them to supply drugs.
Ms. Roberts said: “People will look at us and think it is an unlikely friendship.
“People will see us as two separate things, but we are both grieving. They are both our children.”
Connor Kirkwood and Mitchell Southern admitted to supplying ecstasy and were jailed last year.
Ms. Kirkwood described how, from the age of 15, Connor went from being a “presentable young man” to “wearing sweatpants and not talking to anyone.”
She knew he was involved in drugs and had reported him to the police, but when questioned she refused to give information about the gangs.
How social media is used to sell drugs
Despite police involvement and constant requests for help, Ms. Kirkwood said they were never offered a drug referral or other support.
She said that she had struggled with “guilt and shame” over whether she could have prevented Leah’s death.
“I thought where did I go wrong? How did this happen? What did I do?” she said.
“And there is the fault that my son is involved in someone else’s son losing his life.
“I lost the boy who had a passion for sports, he was always smiling. I don’t see a smile anymore.
“I have this 19-year-old man. I don’t know who he is. I can see him in bed and why do I understand?
“That is my fault because that is not fair.”
Image caption, Leah’s mother said they had talked about drugs together, but neither of them had heard of MDMA.
Leah’s mother, who described her daughter as “her best friend”, said she had felt “a lot of hatred” and was initially against the reunion.
“There was hatred for Connor, for the situation. I thought, how is he going to do me any good? I have nothing to say to him,” she said.
But she said that hearing the other side of the story had helped ease those emotions.
“I’ve read about county boundaries and there’s more understanding and I think he was a boy, he was 15 years old. He was not a dodgy 21-year-old drug dealer.”
“I understand how my friends and family said, ‘Why do you know her?’ But I think he has done us both good.”
She added: “People who didn’t know Leah would probably think she came from a tough family, that her mother didn’t care.
“People have their own thoughts and I had those thoughts about Connor’s mother. I didn’t realize the story.”
Both women are working together on a campaign called Do You Know MDMA? to spread the message that drugs kill.
Ms. Roberts said, “I feel like if we tell our story and try to educate people, we can’t do much more.
“Leah died and I can’t allow that to be without reason.”