Three jailed after drug death

THREE people have been sentenced to a total of more than five years in prison following the death of a Suffolk man who overdosed on ecstasy.Darran Baker died in hospital just hours after he was taken ill while clubbing at the De Niro's nightclub in Newmarket in July last year.

THREE people have been sentenced to a total of more than five years in prison following the death of a Suffolk man who overdosed on ecstasy.

Darran Baker died in hospital just hours after he was taken ill while clubbing at the De Niro's nightclub in Newmarket in July last year.

Following his death, it emerged the 22-year-old, from Hythe Close in Burwell, had taken five ecstasy tablets which had been supplied to him by his friend, Cyd Smith.

At Ipswich Crown Court on Friday, Smith, from St Georges Road in Stowlangtoft, was handed an 18-month prison sentence for giving Mr Baker the Class A drugs.

Her own supplier, Adam Stebbeds, a “commercial drug dealer” from Croft Road in Newmarket, was sentenced to three years in prison.

Joshua Francis-Nichols, who was with Mr Baker on the night of the tragedy, pleaded guilty to a charge of possessing the Class A drug and was sentenced to a nine-month spell in jail.

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His Honour Judge Peter De Mille said all three offences were extremely serious, and told the court he would be “failing in his duty” if he did not impose custodial sentences.

Richard Potts, prosecuting, said that on the evening of Mr Baker's death, Smith had gone to the skate park in Newmarket where she had met with 28-year-old Stebbeds and bought 15 ecstasy tablets on behalf of herself, Mr Baker and Francis-Nichols.

In a statement, Smith said that while in De Niro's nightclub later that night, Mr Baker - who was a regular ecstasy user - told her he had taken all five of his tablets and later collapsed. He died at West Suffolk Hospital later that day.

Charles Myatt, defending Smith, said the 23-year-old - who has a one-month-old daughter - was “full of remorse”, and had been visiting schools to talk about her experiences and warn about the dangers of drugs since her friend's death.

Neil Macaulay, for Stebbeds, said that while the results of him supplying the drugs to Smith had been “cataclysmic”, the amount of ecstasy involved was “relatively small”.

Catherine Rabaiotti, who was defending Francis-Nichols, said the 23-year-old “sincerely regretted” the incident and that he had lost a good friend.

All three defendants were ordered to serve half of their sentences, before being released on license.

Stebbeds, who was arrested for possession with intent to supply after being caught with 364gms of cannabis while on bail following Mr Baker's death, yesterday pleaded guilty to the charge and was sentenced to a further 12 months, bringing his total jail term to four years.

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