A MAN who supplied his girlfriend with the illegal drugs that killed her has been jailed for four-and-a-half years.
Sarah Peachey died of an overdose while “experimenting” with drugs given to her by boyfriend Ben Ferguson.
Sarah was killed by a combination of heroin, diazepam and alcohol while staying at Ferguson’s house when his mother was away last July.
Ferguson admitted he supplied the 21-year-old with diazepam that evening but denied he gave her heroin.
The 27-year-old was tried by a jury at Newcastle Crown Court last year on one charge of supplying heroin, a class A drug.
He denied the charge throughout the five-day hearing but was found guilty.
Ferguson, of Cotswold Place, Peterlee, had been granted bail after the guilty verdict. He showed no emotion as he was led away to start his jail sentence yesterday.
Judge Paul Sloan told him: “I accept there was no commercial motive for the supply.
“That said, you of all people, as an addict, know the dangers associated with what you were doing.
“This was a serious offence of its kind which led to the needless loss of a promising young life.
“No sentence I pass could adequately reflect what has been lost nor could any sentence ever be long enough for Sarah Peachey’s grieving family and friends.”
Prosecutor Jolyon Perks told jurors during the trial Ferguson admitted to police he had given Miss Peachey heroin before because he “wanted her to understand how bad heroin addiction is” and that she had “pleaded” with him to let her try the drug in the past.
The judge said he rejected those reasons.
Mr Perks told the court heroin addict Ferguson, who he said told lies to the police in interview after her death, may have realised his girlfriend was in difficulty up to four hours before he called for help from the emergency services and that he had tidied up before they got there.
A post mortem examination confirmed Miss Peachey was an otherwise healthy young woman who had no underlying causes of illness.
Mr Perks said: “The prosecution accept that she may well have experimented with drugs in the past but she was not a drug addict and she was not someone who was a heroin addict.”
The court heard Ferguson’s call to the ambulance from the house landline was made at 2.08am but an earlier call had been made to the emergency services from a mobile at 10.25pm, which was abandoned.
Mr Perks said: “The prosecution case is that this particular lady may have been in difficulties for a period of time before he decided to phone the ambulance at 2.08am.”