A Donacloney man has been jailed for four years after being found guilty of being involved in supplying drugs which were then passed to a teenager who later died.
Ryan Best, aged 22, from Tudor Brae in Donacloney, was found guilty of supplying Class A drug MDMA when he appeared at Newcastle Crown Court on Monday.
Best, with co-accused Jack Malloy (20) were both found guilty of supplying drugs and jailed for a total of five years after the death of 18-year-old Ellie Knowles on November 6 last year.
She had been at the Shindig event at Hoults Yard venue in Byker on Saturday, November 5, when she collapsed.
The court was told how Malloy had been with Ellie and her friends at an address in Sandyford earlier in the day when he contacted Ryan Best and arranged the delivery of a quantity of MDMA.
Best attended the address later on that day and delivered the drugs to the occupants.
The group, some of whom were students in the city, took the drugs at the address before heading to the event at the club in Hoults Yard.
A court was also told how Ellie began to feel unwell and eventually collapsed. She was taken to hospital by paramedics but sadly passed away.
Police launched an investigation and detectives working in Central CID analysed phone records that traced the drugs back to Best.
Ellie’s cause of death has yet to be determined but an inquest will now take place following the sentencing.
Best admitted a charge of supplying Class A drugs and Malloy admitted a charge of being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs.
After sentencing, Inspector Mal Stratton said the custodial sentences reflected how serious authorities take this type of offending.
He said: “We would urge anyone who involves themselves in this kind of behaviour to look at these jail terms and think twice about getting involved in the supply of Class A drugs.”
During the sentence a victim impact statement from Ellie’s mother Natalie was read out by the prosecution in court.
In it, she said: “The impact of Ellie’s death on me is insurmountable. Ellie and I shared a very tight mum and daughter bond and she truly was my best friend.
“Beautiful on the inside and out, I ache to hear her laugh one more time, to see her face and smell her but I am left with a void that no one can fill and an image of a hospital mortuary.
“Each time I go into her bedroom I pray it’s all been a terrible nightmare and she will still be warm and snuggled up in bed but instead we are left with a room that remains unchanged since her death, clothes and make-up still visible but with no one in there.
“I still have her on speed dial and in my favourites but never again can I call her and hear her voice just for a quick natter or listen to her tell me all the latest gossip from her friends and boyfriends.
“I sob, scream and torture myself with the what might have been and am left empty now with what will never will be. What has been taken away from us will never be replaced, I will never watch my daughter grow up, get married and have her own children which was a life we often chatted about.
“I will never have the planned girlie weekends, shopping trips or any other cherished time nor will I see her blossom into the wonderful woman I know she would have become.
“They say time is a great healer but I disagree, as time passes it gets no easier and no less painful. Family, friends and work colleagues have helped me get by one day at a time and they are sympathetic when I simply sit there and cry.
“My only sanctuary in this whole nightmare is that my last words to her were ‘I Love You My Darling’ to which she replied ‘I Love You too Mum, Forever’.”
Ryan Best, of Donaghcloney, was jailed for four years, while Jack Malloy, of an address in Doncaster, was jailed for one year. The case took place at Newcastle Crown Court, sitting at Newcastle Moot Hall, last Monday afternoon. An inquest into Ellie Knowles’ death was opened in March this year and had been adjourned pending the result of the court case.