Man who gave teenager fatal ecstasy killed himself after battling depression

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Chronicle & Echo, latest news, website logo

A YOUNG drug abuser who supplied a teenager with class A drugs and left him to die, killed himself after battling depression.

An inquest heard how Simeon Tate, aged 20, from Northampton, wrote a suicide note before injecting himself with a fatal dose of dopiethin at a friend’s home in Fullerburn Court, Lumbertubs, on May 27.

It is the first time that Mr Tate can be named in connection with the death of 15-year-old Miles Shanks at an illegal rave in warehouses off Nunn Mills Road, near Becket’s Park, Northampton, on June 17, 2006.

Mr Tate, who met Miles while they were both in care, was later convicted at Northampton Crown Court of supplying the fatal dose of ecstasy, but could not be named at the time because he was only 17 years old.

He was sentenced to 12 months’ detention and was described at the time as “extremely vulnerable”.

The inquest heard how Mr Tate, an intelligent boy, grew up with both parents and his three sisters but found it hard to socialise, and as a result was moved between a number of primary schools in the town.

He was later diagnosed with ADHD, as well as a severe skin condition and struggled with his homosexuality before becoming a drug user, frequently running away from his family home.

His mother, Elizabeth Tate, who was not at the inquest but had a written statement read out by coroner Anne Pember, said her son had fallen in with a gang of older youths. She added: “I think he was used as their runner, he used to be picked up from the house in big cars.

“The money was a big draw to him. I can’t remember how many times he ran away. We tried everything. In my desperation I even nailed the windows down but it made no difference.”

He was subsequently put into care by his parents who were concerned about the impact of his behaviour on their other children.

Mrs Tate added: “When he was clean he was a loving, caring child who wanted nothing more than to be part of normal family life but because of his addiction that wasn’t meant to be.”

Following his release from prison Mr Tate went on to commit two violent robberies and continued to take drugs, but was due to take part in a drug rehabilitation course at the time of his death.

The inquest heard how he was also diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder after the death of Miles Shanks.

Pc Andrew Hull was the first officer to respond to the 999 call when Mr Tate collapsed.

He said he spoke with two friends in the house at the time, but was satisfied there was no suspicious circumstances.

Coroner Anne Pember recorded that Mr Tate killed himself. She said: “The cause of death, overdose, coupled with a note he left showing he was low and depressed and decided he no longer wished to live.”

SIMEON Tate pleaded guilty to supplying the drugs which killed 15-year-old Miles Shanks at an illegal rave.

At his sentencing, held at Northampton Crown Court in 2007, Judge Richard Bray heard how Mr Tate had taken a bag of around 25 ecstasy tablets to a disused warehouse at land in Nunn Mills Road, near Becket’s Park.

At the party he handed two of the tablets to Miles, who he met while the pair were both in local authority care, and told him to help himself to more.

In an interview, Mr Tate told police that after Miles took the drugs his eyes “were massive” and he tried talking to him and pouring water over him.

About an hour later he fell unconscious, but never came round again.

Mr Tate was sentenced to 12 months’ detention.

An inquest into Miles’s death the following year revealed the youngster had also taken cocaine, proving to be a “toxic mix”.

Alan Barham, an emergency medical technician, told the coroner he estimated that Miles had been dead for around 15 minutes when he arrived.

Mr Barham said: “When I arrived, he was on his own, face down and there was no-one else around. I thought there was absolutely no chance of resuscitating him and I declared him to be dead.”

He added that he was told by youths that the boy had been “force-fed” drugs, something Mr Tate strongly denied at the inquest.

Coroner Anne Pember said a post mortem examination had showed Miles had died from choking after taking a large dose of ecstasy, as well as some cocaine.

She recorded a verdict of accidental death.

A damning report into Miles Shanks’s treatment by the Derbyshire Safeguarding Children Board revealed:

Miles Shanks was moved against his wishes from a care home under Derbyshire Social Service to a foster family in Northampton.

Derbyshire Social Services, which was still responsible for his care, was unaware when social workers in Northampton placed drug user Simeon Tate in the same home.

The day before his death, Miles Shanks ran away from the foster home and told police he would do so again if he was forced to return.

The report blamed a break-down in communication between social workers for putting Miles in a vulnerable position.