A ‘popular’ schoolboy died after taking MDMA at a sleepover with friends, an inquest heard.
Luke Pennington, 14, became seriously unwell after consuming 1g of the drug whilst at a friends house in Stockport.
South Manchester Coroner’s Court heard how Luke and his pals had arranged to purchase the illicit substance as they had all wanted to ‘experiment’ with the drug.
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The youngster, from Bramhall, was rushed to Wythenshawe Hospital in a critical condition before later being transferred to an intensive care unit at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Merseyside.
Despite extensive efforts by medical professionals to save Luke, his condition deteriorated and he was sadly pronounced dead on 18 March, 2018.
Detective Chief Inspector for GMP, Christopher Downey, told the court that charges were brought against those suspected of supplying the class A drug to Luke and his friends.
But a trial was ‘unsuccessful’ and the defendant was ultimately acquitted of the offences.
The court heard that Luke had been at a sleepover with friends in the Heald Green area in Stockport on the night of March 17, 2018.
Stockport Coroner’s Court heard Luke and his friends wanted to experiment with the drug
(Image: Manchester Evening News)
“Luke and his friends were very keen to experiment with drugs,” DCI Downey said.
“They agreed together to purchase some drugs.
“Luke was probably the most confident in obtaining the MDMA and that bravado is probably what saw him take the amount he did.”
DCI Downey added that neither Luke’s parents, or any of the friends’ parents, had any idea about what their children had planned that evening.
The court heard that Luke consumed around 1g of the drug, before his friends noticed him ‘sweating’ and ‘fitting.’
Paramedics arrived at the house a short time later, and noted that Luke was unconscious and in a very serious condition.
In a statement read to the court, Consultant Paediatrician at Wythenshawe Hospital, Dr Naveen Rao said Luke was immediately transferred to the emergency department and intubated and ventilated.
Doctors continued to work on Luke but he continued to deteriorate, the inquest heard.
Discussions took place between medical professionals about moving him to another intensive care unit, and a decision was made to transfer Luke to Alder Hey Hospital.
Dr Sarah Mahoney, who works as a consultant in Paediatric Care at Alder Hey, said: “When Luke arrived at Alder Hey Hospital multiple organ systems were failing.
“His condition didn’t stabilise and he continued to deteriorate.”
The court heard that a discussion took place with Luke’s family, and it was explained that all treatment options had been exhausted.
His family agreed to withdraw the intensive care support, and Luke died peacefully in the early hours of March 18, 2018.
A post mortem examination carried out by Home Office Pathologist, Dr Naomi Carter, concluded that Luke had died as a result of MDMA toxicity.
Senior Coroner for south Manchester, Alison Mutch OBE, concluded that Luke’s death was ‘Drug Related.’
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“What is very clear in relation to Luke is that he came and was part of a very close and loving family,” she said.
“The great tragedy is that on the night in question they decided to experiment with MDMA.
“This is a drug that is sometimes described as a party drug.
“What is very clear from the evidence we heard is that there is no such thing as a party drug and that any drug bought illegally will carry great risk.
“Sadly the drug Luke took had an effect neither he nor his friends could have predicted.
“I am sure if Luke had known the consequences he would never have dreamed of taking the drug.”