THE heartbroken mother of teenage MDMA victim Leah Heyes is calling on Boris Johnson to back a campaign to make it a specific offence to supply drugs to under 16s.

Kerry Roberts, from Northallerton, is facing a third Christmas without her beloved 15-year-old daughter, who died after buying the drug for a few pounds in May 2019.

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She is working with Tammy Kirkwood, the mother of the teenager who supplied the drugs to Mitchell Southern, who gave them to Leah. Ms Kirkwood's son Conor was sentenced to 21-months, and served six.

Southern was sentenced to 12-months.

Both admitted supplying drugs.

Ms Roberts has launched a Petition of Parliament, Leah's Law, which needs to get more than 10,000 signatures, and calls on the government to make it a specific offence to supply drugs to under 16s.

The two mothers are also working with North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Zoe Metcalfe to raise awareness among teenagers of the dangers of drugs. They plan to launch a campaign in schools and with youth workers in the New Year.

The Northern Echo:

Leah was just 15 when she died

Ms Roberts and Ms Kirkwood are calling on Boris Johnson to include their campaigns in the £900m drive against drugs launched last week. While up to £300m is being targeted at County Lines organisations, which Conor became involved in at the age of 14, they are concerned very little was said about teenagers and children.

Ms Roberts said: "We need to make sentencing longer, there has to be more of a deterrent, and to make it a specific offence to give drugs to under 16s. It’s unbelievable that that isn’t the case.

"I think they are being a bit soft, the Prime Minister has all these ideas, but it is seeing it happen.

"I looked at what they said in 2017 and it seemed quite similar to what they are saying now, but the drug problem has got worse.

"There is real concern that people are getting drugs much more easily than you would ever imagine.

"Before Leah, I had no idea it was as easy as it is, you can get whatever you want. The dealers often give the youngsters cheap disposable phones.

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"I really do hope something comes of this drive by the Government, but there was no real mention of children and dealing with kids.

"I will be asking them to look at my petition, it is more of a deterrent if they have to change laws."

Although Ms Roberts believes Conor should still be behind bars, she says she doesn’t feel the hatred that she once did.

She added: "I am still shocked by this whole thing, I miss Leah every day and it’s very difficult at this time of the year.

"Tammy is such a lovely person, it was difficult at first but together we believe we can make a difference.

The Northern Echo:

Leah and Kerry

"It helps with my grief, and with Tammy’s guilt, that helps both of us.

"We want to make sure no one else loses a child."

Ms Kirkwood said both she and Conor, who is now 19, believe he should still be in jail. She said she had tried to get help from when he was 14 and had started to be groomed by County Lines gangs.

She added: "I struggle with guilt every day. I am totally behind Kerry and together we just hope we can make people think and force a change.

"Boris Johnson has to listen because this is too important."

Ms Roberts has approached Richmond MP Rishi Sunak for support. Northallerton Town Council agreed at a meeting this week as an authority to sign the petition, which can be found here.

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