A teenage student has been sentenced for purchasing illegal drugs using bitcoins on the dark web and supplying them to friends at a Plymouth club, two of whom died after overdosing.
Charlie Gregory, a 19-year-old University student, pleaded guilty to purchasing, possessing and supplying controlled substances to Joshua Brock and Aaron Reilly among other friends at a nightclub before the two collapsed and died.
Joshua Brock, from Okehampton and Aaron Reilly, from Newton Abbot, collapsed during a Basshunter gig in a club at Plymouth after taking MDMA distributed by Charlie Gregory in the form of ‘bombs.’ The two, both aged 19, were rushed to Derriford Hospital where they were pronounced dead on arrival.
Sentencing, Judge Robert Linford at Plymouth Crown Court said he was jailing Gregory for possessing and supplying drugs and not for the deaths of the two. He handed him a 14-month jail sentence. “If careless people like you are not stopped from providing illicit drugs from the dark web, then more people like Mr. Brock and Mr. Reilly will continue to die,” he said. “How many students have to die under such circumstances before we all understand the risk these substances expose us to?” asked the judge.
According to Llewellyn Sellick, the prosecutor, a group of seven students planned to travel from Oakhampton, where they live, to Plymouth to go to Pryzm Club, Barbican Leisure Park, for Basshunter the night of December 8, 2017.
Sellick told the court that the defendant told the group of friends that he could order MDMA off the dark web using bitcoin for anonymity and have the drugs delivered, which he did. Gregory then made ‘Mandy bombs’ by putting the MDMA powder into small packages of Rizla twisted paper for swallowing. He then gave the bombs to all seven friends, but only four ingested their share – Joshua Brock, Aaron Reilly, Gregory himself, and another friend.
Around midnight, according to Mr. Sellick, Gregory distributed another dose of bombs to the four but only Joshua Brock and Aaron Reilly consumed the whole dose. An hour later, the defendant was seen lying by the door sweating profusely and out of control. He was given first aid and was searched at a security room in the club, where 1.6 grams of class A drugs were found.
A warning about the incident was put out to everyone before the club was closed and the two were rushed to Derriford Hospital where they were pronounced dead on arrival. One of the friends who had taken the bombs had already moved to a different club with others.
A toxicology test conducted on the bodies found 7.6mg and 4.2mg per liter in Joshua’s blood and Brock’s blood respectively. The figures are considered high and within overdose levels. The other two victims who had taken the drugs were checked at the hospital and released.
The barrister told the court that the defendant immediately confessed to drug trafficking but said nothing later in a second interview after receiving legal advice from his lawyer.
Charlie Gregory of Chagford, Stannary Place pleaded guilty to multiple counts of charges for procuring, possessing, and distributing class A drugs and a single count charge for possessing MDMA seized at the club.
Stephen Nunn, the solicitor for the defendant, said what had happened was tragic, but there was nothing that could be done to change what had happened. “It’s clear that the suspect is remorseful and bitter for causing the death of his closest friends. It is also clear to the court that it was not intentional,” Mr. Nunn said, “I am sure none of the other friends will ever get involved in illegal drugs.”
The DJ, Basshunter, sent his condolences in a statement released following the incident.