Teenager admits supplying drugs that killed 16-year-old at Ilfracombe youth disco

PUBLISHED: 11:30 09 February 2018 | UPDATED: 11:31 09 February 2018

Exeter Crown Court and (inset) Luke Campbell-Tapson.

Exeter Crown Court and (inset) Luke Campbell-Tapson.


A Putford teenager has admitted supplying the drugs that killed a 16-year-old schoolboy at a youth disco in Ilfracombe last year.

Daniel Kennett, 18, pleaded guilty to supplying 16-year-old Luke Campbell-Tapson with ecstasy two days before the event at Ilfracombe at which he collapsed and later died.

Luke was a student at South Molton Community College who had travelled to the Friday night disco on May 26 last year. He died in hospital in Barnstaple.

Kennett, of Powlers Piece, Putford, near Torrington, admitted two counts of supplying the class A drug MDMA, also known as ecstasy.

These related to supply to Luke on May 24, 2017, and supply to others between March 1 and May 31, 2017.

Luke Campbell-Tapson Luke Campbell-Tapson

Kennett was 17 at the time and obtained the drugs from another 17-year-old, who appeared alongside him in the dock at Exeter Crown Court.

The boy, who cannot be named because of his age, admitted supplying class A MDMA on at least 10 occasions between December 1, 2016 and May 31, 2017.

Judge Graham Cottle adjourned sentencing on both until March 9 and ordered reports from the probation and youth offending services.

He released them on bail but told them: “The fact that I am granting you bail is not to be taken to mean you will not receive a custodial sentence, all options will be available.”

Paul Grumbar, defending the 17-year-old, said it is not in dispute that his client had supplied ecstasy to Kennett, who had then supplied them onward to others.

Luke’s family paid tribute to him after his death in a statement released through the police.

They said: “Luke’s family and many, many friends have been devastated by the loss of such a wonderful, kind, talented young man.

“He was only 16-years-old, bursting with promise, with a rich and full life in front of him, and has paid a price completely out of proportion.

“The support and love of his community has been a great comfort to us, but there is now a large Luke shaped hole in our lives, where a funny, engaging, chaotic, shiny presence used to be.

“He was dancing in a thunderstorm the night he died. In our hearts he will be dancing in the thunderstorm forever.”

Superintendent Toby Davies, police commander for North and West Devon, said at the time: “North Devon is a close community and this is a tragic loss of a popular teenager.

“Our heart goes out to all of Luke’s family and friends at this exceptionally difficult time.

“There is always a risk when taking drugs and you cannot be sure of what you are taking; the only way of staying safe is to avoid drugs altogether.”

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