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Parents of Serena Harding speak out after drug dealer jailed for two years
9:20am Thursday 2nd August 2012 in News
THREE men arrested for supplying ecstasy to overdose victim Serena Harding have been sentenced.
The 16-year-old, of Manchester Road, Rixton, died in August 2011 after taking a pure form of ecstasy known as MDMA.
At Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester on Monday, Thomas Donelon, aged 20, was jailed for two years after pleading guilty to the possession and supply of a class A drug.
The Levenshulme resident had sold the crystallised ecstasy to co-defendants Michael Millington, aged 30, of Hopefield Road, Lymm, and Dean Williams, aged 20, from Brinnington, Stockport.
They, along with Serena, took the drug before she collapsed in a park in Reddish, Stockport, on August 21 – six days before her 17th birthday.
Paramedics were unable to revive her. Millington, a close friend of the former Warrington Collegiate student for four years, escaped a prison term.
He was given a 12-month sentence suspended for 12 months and 300 hours’ community service after pleading guilty to supplying a class A drug.
Williams received a six-month sentence suspended for 12 months and 250 hours’ community service after pleading guilty to the same offence. The pair were arrested shortly after her death.
Police then searched Donelon’s Manchester home where seven snap bags of MDMA were recovered.
A post mortem examination showed that Serena, who suffered from Crohn’s disease, died with a high concentration of the drug in her blood and stomach.
Following her death mum Diana, of Manchester Road, spoke to the Warrington Guardian to warn teenagers of the dangers of experimenting with drugs.
She is certain it was the first time her youngest daughter had tried ecstasy.
Speaking after Monday’s hearing Diana and husband Kenny said: “Serena filled all our hearts; she was so loving and caring and was sometimes wise beyond her almost 17 years.
“The tears we cry every day are futile because she will never come home again. She should have been turning 18 this August.
“You need ID for cigarettes and alcohol. Drug dealers don’t ask for ID, they don’t care how old you are.
“It’s too easy for teenagers to get hold of drugs. Serena wouldn’t want another teenager to die like she did and we wouldn’t wish the grief we feel to be felt by anyone.”
DS Dave Jordan, from Stockport CID, said: “Serena’s death was a tragic and needless one.
“Sadly, this is a stark reminder that drugs are dangerous and can kill people.
“We are now getting close to the summer months where many young people have taken exams for their GCSEs and A-levels, meaning the end of term is near.
“They will be in celebratory spirit, and there will no doubt be many end of term parties being held where there may be opportunities for them to experiment with drugs and alcohol.
“I would urge parents to be aware of where their children are going and they must give their children a strong message about the dangers of drugs.”