Teenagers’ involvement in the darknet drug trade has become a regular occurrence these days, as reported in the media.
The recent case in the U.K. is a unique one where a teenage drug dealer and his partner escaped a prison term following a pardon issued by the sister of a friend who died last year due to a drug overdose.
The drug was sold the victim, Luke Campbell-Tapson, by the teenager Daniel Kennett. After consuming the drug, Campbell-Tapson died within hours.
Teenage Drug Dealer
From the details collected by the investigating agencies, the two youngsters, Kennett and his partner in crime, whose identity is being withheld, were in the habit of buying the drugs from some people who were ordering them on darknet markets and then selling them.
The average price they paid for these drugs, which were mostly MDMA tablets, was £60 per 25 tablets and they would sell these at £10 each, pocketing close to a £200 in the bargain.
The boy who died, 16-year-old Luke Campbell-Tapson, had reached Kennett’s house to buy the tablet as a celebration of the completion of his exams. The exact date this happened was May 24, 2017.
Kennett has given a statement that he had cautioned Campbell-Tapson that these tablets had a strong effect. It is possible the particular product had not been sold before this by him.
Campbell-Tapson and another friend of his then went to a nightclub located in Ilfracombe, where they spent the night. Campbell-Tapson went on to consume four of the drug tablets, developing sickness by midnight and finally being pronounced dead the next morning.
Victim’s Sister Comes to Rescue
There was no way the drug dealer, Daniel Kennett, could have escaped the prison sentence. But just before the court was to pronounce the judgement, the court’s recorder received a letter from Luke Campbell-Tapson’s sister, Esther, in which she requested that the two defendants, Kennett and his partner, be pardoned.
She felt that the guilt cannot be placed squarely on the seller of the drug alone. She said even her brother had made the mistake of consuming excess quantity of the tablets and he might not have realized the potency of the drug before taking it.
More than these, Esther’s letter indicated that by sending the two teenagers to prison, it would just end up spoiling their life and no good may come out of it.
The judge, while commending Esther’s gesture, reprimanded the suspects and let them off with a suspended sentence hoping for better behavior.
They were handed out community service work as well in terms of atonement for the criminal activity they had engaged in.
The younger one (whose name was not revealed due to his age) was ordered to undergo youth-rehabilitation for two years under appropriate supervision.