A 15-year-old boy has pleaded guilty to supplying Class A drugs following the death of a 13-year-old in South Wales.
The teenager – who cannot be named due to his age – appeared in court 15 months after Carson Price was found unconscious in a park in Ystrad Mynach, near Caerphilly, having taken an ecstasy pill.
On Tuesday, Cwmbran Youth Court was told that the defendant – who was 14 at the time of the incident – had arranged the sale of three pills over Snapchat before meeting Carson, who was on his way to meet friends in the park.
Prosecutor Margaret Cunningham said: “Carson went to the park and offered one to a friend. The friend declined. Carson took one half, then another half, then started acting strangely and collapsed.”
Ms Cunningham said emergency services were called to the park to attend to Carson after he fell unconscious, but he was later pronounced dead at hospital.
Carson’s Snapchat messages led police to the teenage dealer, who was arrested on April 18, and eventually gave officers the names of two men he said had supplied him with the drugs.
Friends of Carson said he had purchased pills from the same youth a week before his death, which the 15-year-old denied.
But Ms Cunningham said that just five days after Carson’s death, and a day before the 15-year-old was arrested, phone records showed the youth had again contacted his dealers to supply him with more drugs, with one text saying: “Reckon you can scrap me three pills until Saturday?”
The prosecutor said: “There were still some messages on his phone days after Carson’s death, between him and the two males mentioned in his interview, where he was still asking about pills, despite the fact of the death of a young boy.”
The court heard that the 15-year-old had also since been dealt with by a youth court for possession of a bladed article, which he claimed he had carried for his own protection and to “intimidate people”.
He spoke at the youth court only to confirm his name, date of birth, and to plead guilty to supplying the Class A drugs.
District Judge Martin Brown said the teenager had “sold the drugs to make money”, and described evidence that he tried to source more drugs after Carson’s death as “chilling”.
The judge said: “Because of the enormity of the consequences of this offence, I want a pre-sentence report, because this is a young lad who, as a 14-year-old, is supplying Class A drugs, which is a shocking situation, and a short time after was found in possession of a blade.
“Drugs and blade, blade and drugs, is not a good start to a young man’s life.
“Anyone would be shocked by this situation.”
Addressing the 15-year-old, he said: “This won’t be something the family of the deceased recovers from very easily, if it all.
“I want to know if you have learned from this experience, because it’s troubling. Even after this situation had become grave, it seems you were still attempting to source tablets for sale. That I find extremely worrying.”
The judge adjourned the hearing until August 18 for a pre-sentence report from the youth offending service.
Gwent Police said a 22-year-old man from Caerphilly who was arrested on suspicion of the supply of class A drugs remains released under investigation.
In May this year, an inquest into Carson’s death found he died from a “violent reaction” to an “excessive” amount of ecstasy he had consumed.
Following Carson’s death, a vigil was held in his honour at Ystrad Mynach Park, which was organised by his friends and attended by his parents and brother.
His family said in a statement at the time: “On Friday 12th April, our lives changed forever when our little boy was taken away from us.
“Carson was bright and caring, kind and loving. He was a cheeky little boy. He was the best big brother to Coby and was loved by so many.”