Man spared jail over drugs cache
A university lecturer who admitted possessing a hoard of Class A drugs at his house where a schoolgirl died has been spared jail.
Isobel Jones-Reilly, 15, died in April after taking ecstasy at an unsupervised party at the west London home of Brian Dodgeon.
Dodgeon, 61, had a stash of party drugs - ecstasy, LSD, ketamine and a psychedelic drug known as Foxy Methoxy - hidden in a wardrobe in his bedroom, but said he never thought the teenagers would find it.
The academic, who pleaded guilty at West London Magistrates' Court on October 17 to four counts of possession of drugs, looked devastated in the dock throughout the hearing but made no reaction as he was given an eight-month sentence suspended for two years at London's Isleworth Crown Court.
Passing sentence, Judge Andrew McDowall told Dodgeon: "The worst punishment you can have is one that will last for the rest of your conscious life - the knowledge that because of the possession of these drugs and your failure to keep them secure from teenage experimentation has resulted in a death. You know that and it is obviously a burden on you."
The judge imposed a six-month curfew order requiring the lecturer to be at home between the hours of 9pm and 7am, told him to pay £150 towards the prosecution's costs and ordered the destruction of the drugs.
Dodgeon, a research fellow at the University of London's Institute of Education, and his partner, Angela Hadjipateras, went away for the night on April 22, leaving their daughter, Beatrice, 14, alone at their home in Barlby Road, north Kensington, the court heard.
They knew she had used Facebook to organise a party. Beatrice told partygoers she had previously found a stash of cannabis in her father's drawer, and three of the teenagers went to an "out-of-bounds" bedroom in a bid to find some more.
Isobel, a pupil at Chiswick Community School in west London, took two ecstasy tablets. The teenager suffered adverse effects from taking the drug but would not let her friends call an ambulance for fear of getting into trouble. She stopped breathing and her friends could not find a pulse. Isobel, from Acton, west London, was taken to St Mary's Hospital in Paddington but was pronounced dead at 6.30am on April 23.
Sarah Elliott, mitigating, said Dodgeon was a "broken man" who was wracked by remorse and guilt as a result of the tragedy. Dodgeon has been suspended from his job and faces further disciplinary action, the court heard.