Two men who organised weekly drugs parties at which a schoolboy died have been jailed at Lincoln Crown Court.
Alex Buchan, 14, described by his family as a “perfect son,” collapsed after ingesting fatal levels of MDMA into his bloodstream.
An ecstasy tablet with the motif “The Punisher” was found next to him at the home of Sam King in Fleet Street, Holbeach.
Alastair Turner, 19, who sold drugs at the party, and King, 21, who hosted the event, were told by Judge John Pini QC that although there was not evidence to bring criminal charges against them for the death of Alex they were both morally responsible for what happened.
Turner was jailed for 45 months and King for three years after both admitted charges arising from the investigation into Alex’s death.
The court was told that the two men staged weekly drug parties at King’s home targeting the invitations at school age children.
Judge Pini, passing sentence, said “This is an utterly tragic case. It involves the loss of a very young and much loved life.
“Neither defendant has been charged in relation to Alex’s death and the sentence the court imposes cannot reflect the death.
“However you will have the moral responsibility for Alex Buchan’s death on your conscience for the rest of your lives.
“You worked in concert so that the parties would be attended by people of school age. The targeting of young people of school age is a very seriously aggravating feature of this case.”
The judge said the case highlighted the “profound danger” of taking Class A drugs.
Andrew Peet, prosecuting, told the court: “Turner was a well-known and busy dealer of ecstasy. King very much acted in combination with Turner to ensure that weekly parties were held. King organised these to take place at his own home and they would be attended by school age customers. King was a willing and active participant in Turner’s drug dealing that took place at King’s house.
“They were connected at the hip, so to speak, as far as the parties were concerned. It is plain that King was a user himself.”
Mr Peet said that Turner was also supplying drugs on a regular basis outside of the weekend parties.
Alex Buchan, who was a pupil at University Holbeach Academy, attended one of the parties held at King’s house on the evening of April 5, 2019.
“Whilst at the address he tragically died. His death was caused by a fatal level of MDMA [ecstasy] in his bloodstream,” Mr Peet said.
“He obtained an amount of ecstasy that night via Turner. Although Alex ingested some or all of the ecstasy it is not the Crown’s case that it was the supply by Turner that led to Alex’s death.
“At 1.30am, the party having begun a few hours before on the previous day, paramedics, police and ambulance were called out to the address because Alex was not responsive.”
Mr Peet said that parents and adults called by the youngsters at the party arrived to try and resuscitate Alex.
Paramedics assisted on their arrival but Alex passed away at 2.30am. An ecstasy tablet with the motif “The Punisher” was found next to him.
The prosecutor said that it appeared that the pill had been supplied to Alex by someone who had bought it from Turner.
“Alex had consumed far too much ecstasy far too quickly. He had consumed ecstasy before he arrived at the party.
“The investigation revealed that the party was not an isolated event but these had been occurring over many weeks.”
Evidence found on Turner’s mobile phone indicated he had been supplying drugs for the previous five months and had a list of regular customers.
“He told his customers he was able to deliver. Sometimes it was free but sometimes he would deliver with a £5 charge.”
Turner, 19, of Fleet Road, Fleet, admitted possession of ecstasy with intent to supply on 5 April 2019 and a further charge of supplying ecstasy between 1 November 2018 and 7 April 2019.
King, 21, of Fleet Street, Holbeach, admitted being concerned in the supply of ecstasy and two charges of permitting premises to be used for the supply of drugs.
Karen Walton, for Turner, said he secured an apprenticeship after leaving school but was unable to get a place at college.
“He started dealing drugs and realised he could make money.
“He is a young man of good character. He had shown no sign of any deviant behaviour until this period of his life.”
Neil Sands, for King, told the court “He is deeply, deeply sorry for what took place. If there was anything within his power to turn the clock back he would so so without hesitation.”