Lecturer spared jail after schoolgirl died taking drugs at his home
Published 02/12/2011 | 17:07
ENGLISH university lecturer Brian Dodgeon, who admitted possessing a hoard of Class A drugs at his house where a schoolgirl died, was spared jail today.
Isobel Jones-Reilly, 15, died in April after taking ecstasy at an unsupervised party at the west London home of Brian Dodgeon.
Dodgeon, 61, had a stash of party drugs – ecstasy, LSD, ketamine and a psychedelic drug known as Foxy Methoxy – hidden in a wardrobe in his bedroom, but said he never thought the teenagers would find it.
Today, he was given an eight-month sentence suspended for two years at London's Isleworth Crown Court.
Passing sentence, Judge Andrew McDowall told Dodgeon: "The worst punishment you can have is one that will last for the rest of your conscious life – the knowledge that because of the possession of these drugs and your failure to keep them secure from teenage experimentation has resulted in a death.
"You know that and it is obviously a burden on you."
Dodgeon's 14-year-old daughter, Beatrice Hadjipateras, and two 14-year-old boys were also admitted to hospital after the party.
The teenagers found the drugs in Dodgeon's bedroom, which they had been "forbidden" from entering.
Ms Reilly, who had taken two tablets, collapsed on the bed at around 4am "frothing at the mouth". She then "went motionless and stopped breathing".
Friends could not find a pulse and attempted to perform life saving CPR.
Ms Reilly was pronounced dead at St Mary's hospital in Paddington at 6.30am
Dodgeon, whose research subjects have included health inequalities and alcohol consumption patterns, attempted suicide following the youngster's death.
Rhona Freedman, defending, said he "pitched himself" off a road bridge, breaking both his legs and an elbow and fracturing his skull in "the most dramatic expression of remorse".
He needed brain surgery following the attempt and spent months in hospital.
The court was told the youngsters spent the evening drinking alcohol and smoking cannabis, before going up to Dodgeon's room and discovering the drugs on top of a cupboard.
Dodgeon, who appeared in court walking with the aid of crutches, has admitted being a "recreational" drug user.
The drugs have been valued at between £735 and £2,435.
The Ladbroke Grove street where Mr Dodgeon lives is home to Education Secretary Michael Gove. David Cameron owns a house two streets away.
At the time, Isobel's parents Lynne Jones and Patrick Reilly, spoke of their heartache at their loss.
In a statement they said: 'Isobel's family and friends are devastated and heartbroken by her untimely death. We hope that if anything positive comes from this dreadful event, it is that others will make the right decisions to be safe and well in the future.'
The hearing continues.