Teenager offered to sell his best friend drugs shortly before tragic death at Leeds Festival

2016 Leeds Festival at Bramham Park. PIC: PA
2016 Leeds Festival at Bramham Park. PIC: PA

THE best friend of a teenager who died after taking ecstasy at Leeds Festival had offered to supply him with drugs shortly before his death, a court heard.

Thomas Rampling swapped text messages with 17-year-old Lewis Haunch agreeing to sell his pal £30 worth of MDMA and £10 worth of cannabis.

Leeds Crown Court heard Rampling did not end up giving them to his friend as he instead bought illicit drugs from someone else.

Lewis collapsed almost immediately after taking the drug at Leeds Festival at Bramaham Park, near Wetherby, on August 27, 2016.

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Rampling, 18, was today (March 19) given a six month suspended prison sentence after pleading guilty to offering to supply MDMA and cannabis.

Sentencing Rampling, judge Penelope Belcher said: “The tragic death of your best friend was not as a result of any drug supply by you.”

The judge described Lewis’s death as “absolutely tragic” and told Rampling she hoped it would serve as a warning about the danger of drugs.

She said: “It displays to you, if you did not realise it before, that there is nothing clever about taking drugs or being involved in drugs.”

The teenagers travelled to Leeds from their home in Leigh, Great Manchester, with a group of friends on August 27.

They checked into a hotel where Lewis texted Rampling asking if he would sell him a gram of MDMA from the drugs he had brought with him for his personal use.

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Rampling replied offering to sell his friend a gram for £30.

Rampling replied to another text message from Lewis saying he would sell him £10 worth of cannabis.

Rampling did not end up supplying the drug as Lewis bought MDMA from elsewhere.

The text messages were found during an investigation after Lewis’s death.

Stephen Grattage, mitigating, Rampling was not intending to make a profit from supplying the drug.

He said: “This was his best friend. He went to the funeral and went to the wake. This has marked him terribly.”

At Lewis’s inquest in January, a coroner warned that taking illicit drugs is like playing “Russian roulette”

Wakefield Coroner’s Court heard Lewis collapsed almost immediately after taking the drug.

He went into cardiac arrest and was cared for by a medical team at the festival before being transferred to St James’s Hospital in Leeds.

The inquest was told one of Lewis’s friends told police he had seen him pour a gram of ecstasy into a water bottle before drinking from the bottle and falling ill.

A post mortem revealed he died from ecstasy poisoning.

Detective sergeant Dean Hopley of West Yorkshire Police, said inquiries had been undertaken to discover who had supplied the ecstasy to Lewis.

The inquest heard Lewis had probably acquired the ecstasy in the Leigh area.

Police investigations revealed Lewis was a regular recreational drug user.

Recording a verdict of drugs related death, senior coroner David Hinchliff, said: “I hope the publicity cases like this and Lewis’s death will attract will advise other young people just how dangerous illicit substances are.”

Mr Hinchliff added: “Using substances like this is rather like playing Russian roulette in many respects.

“I really do hope that the publicity might advise others as to the foolishness of doing this.”

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