Devon

Death fall drug dealer given community service

Discovery Heights Image copyright Google
Image caption Luke Johns fell from over a banister at Discovery Heights student accommodation in Plymouth

A student who supplied drugs to a friend who later fell to his death has been given community service.

Alexander Chippindale, 20, admitted supplying Luke Johns with ecstasy shortly before the 19-year-old fell at student accommodation in Plymouth.

Mr Johns, from Pontypridd in Wales, fell over a banister and down a stairwell, an inquest heard.

He had been drinking alcohol, smoking cannabis and taking ecstasy during the night out in February 2017.

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The coroner concluded his death was an accident.

Judge James Townsend sentenced Chippindale at Plymouth Crown Court to 120 hours of unpaid work with probation supervision.

"I hope you will be able to put this behind you as you have all the makings of someone who could be useful to society", he said.

Prosecutor Lee Bremridge told the court the pair were friends who lived in the same student accommodation block.

He said police investigating the death searched Chippindale's room and found five bags of ecstasy worth £100, as well as text messages indicating his intent to supply.

'Dark cloud'

Ali Rafati, defending, told the court Chippindale had no previous convictions and asked the judge not to blame the student for Johns' death.

He also asked the judge not to blemish the student's future prospects with a criminal record, adding: "This is a dark cloud that he will live with for the rest of his life."

Chippindale, of South Milton Street, Cattedown, pleaded guilty to supplying Mr Johns with ecstasy, possession with intent to supply and being concerned in the supply of the Class A drug.

Speaking after sentencing outside the court, Chippindale said: "Hopefully people will learn from this and not make the same mistakes I have."

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