A grieving mother has warned of the dangers of illegal drugs after “one crazy decision” which “destroyed the lives of so many” following the death of her 18-year-old son.
Amanda Kennedy said she felt no malice towards Cory Phipps, who admitted supplying nine MDMA pills to her son Ben Moughton hours before he was found face down in a waterlogged patch of grass along the Linear Park in Lowestoft.
But she shared her heartbreak at the tragic loss, saying: “We will never get to see Ben get married or have children. All of our hopes and dreams for him have gone.”
Appearing at Ipswich Crown Court on Friday, April 16, Phipps, now aged 19, was jailed for more than two-and-a-half years for supplying the pills, which he bought from the dark web, to her son and his friends on May 30 last year.
In a victim impact statement read to the court, Mrs Kennedy said her son, who was also known as Ben Smith, was “adored and loved by so many people.”
She said: “I was so proud of him. He was an amazing and talented young man who had so much to live for and it has all been taken away from him due to one crazy decision.
“Ben always wanted to fill his day and life with as much as possible and would often say ‘Yolo’ to me, meaning ‘you only live once’.
“There are no words to describe what you feel after being told your son has passed away.”
Phipps, now 19, admitted supplying the pills, as well as possessing 13 MDMA pills with intent to supply when police searched his Sussex Road home on May 31.
He previously also pleading guilty at Great Yarmouth Magistrates’ Court on January 28 to a third charge of being concerned in the supply of MDMA between December 29, 2019, and May 31, 2020, following an examination of his mobile phone.
Phipps told the group the nine pills, which he sold for £40, were “really good”, with later examination finding they had double the average concentration of MDMA.
Prosecutor Hugh Vass told the court: “Ben began to behave strangely and his friends were sufficiently concerned that they called another friend so he could be taken somewhere safer.
“He kept walking off and finally it appears he ended up lying in a puddle or wet grass by some bushes.
“Eventually a 999 call was made and paramedics arrived but, sadly, by the time he arrived in hospital, and after having a cardiac arrest in the ambulance, he was declared dead on arrival.”
A post-mortem listed Mr Moughton’s cause of death as a drug-related drowning.
In a second statement, Mrs Kennedy warned people of the danger of illegal drugs.
She said: “No one should be scared to try and get help for someone, especially in fear where they may get into trouble.
“It was noted several times by Ben’s friends that it appeared he was in trouble.
“I don’t live far away and it would’ve been good if someone had alerted me and I could’ve been there to try and help. I’m not saying it would’ve changed the outcome but it might’ve given him a chance.
“We need basic life support taught in schools and it may have given his friend’s a chance to give him first aid.
“I would also like to raise awareness of the strong pills on our streets that are so dangerous to young people and everyone.”
She added: “I don’t want another mother to go through what I’ve gone through.”
Mitigating, Stephen Dyble told the court Phipps has shown “genuine remorse” and “deep regret”.
He said: “There is an element of tragedy that a young man, 18 when this happened, from a relatively good family background now stands on the precipice of losing his liberty at a time of his life when he should be concentrating on education.
“He has now knuckled down, stopped taking drugs, and hopes to go to university in the autumn.”
Sentencing Phipps to 32 months in a youth offender’s institute, as well as ordering the forfeiture and destruction of the MDMA, judge Martyn Levett said: “Drugs can never be 100pc safe and by purchasing drugs off the dark web, there is no indication of the source or the circumstances in which they have been prepared.”