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Sentencing after death of Serena Harding
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Three men have been sentenced after a 16-year-old girl died from taking Class A drugs.

Thomas Donelon (05/10/1991, pictured left) of Julius Street, Levenshulme was jailed for two years after being found guilty of possessing and supplying a Class A drug.

Dean Williams (09/05/1993) of The Clough, Brinnington received a six month sentence suspended for 12 months and 250 hours community service after pleading guilty to supplying a Class A drug.

Michael Millington (23/05/1982) of Hopefield Road, Lymm, Cheshire received a 12 month sentence suspended for 12months and 300 community service after pleading guilty of supplying a Class A drug.

All three appeared before Minshull Street Crown Court today, Monday 30 July 2012.

At around 10.50pm on Sunday 21 August 2011, police were called to Reddish Vale Road, Reddish close to Reddish Vale animal farm by the emergency services following reports a girl was unconscious.

Paramedics attempted to revive Serena at the scene. Accompanied by Millington, she was taken to hospital but despite numerous efforts, she sadly died.

Serena, alongside a group of people including, Millington and Williams had taken an amount of crystal MDMA that had been bought from Donelon.

Millington and Williams were arrested shortly after Serena's death.

Police searched the home of Donelon on Monday 22 August 2011 and found a small mesh bag containing seven snap bags of drugs. He was later arrested.

Following a post-mortem and toxicology tests, results showed that Serena had died after having a high concentration of MDMA in her blood and stomach.

Serena's parents, Kenny and Diana Harding said: "Every day we ask ourselves `how can this be'.

"Serena filled all our hearts; she was so loving and caring and was sometimes wise beyond her almost 17 years. The tears we cry everyday are futile because she will never come home again. She should have been turning 18 this August. She would have been going to Uni as she was expected to do exceptionally well at college. Warrington collegiate where she studied fashion has dedicated an award in her name.

"The day we lost Serena to an overdose of MDMA, pure ecstasy as it's commonly known, she nearly didn't go out as she had a job interview the next day and wanted to prepare for it. We were so happy to see her going out with a friend she had known since she was 12. She had been ill for months with re occurring flare ups of Crohn's disease which had suffered with for the last 4 years. She spent all of the summer resting at home while her friends had jobs and boyfriends. Serena just wanted to be like everybody else her age. We never thought for one moment that she would try any drugs because of her medical condition and she was always adamant that she wouldn't. We believe Serena got out of her depth and gave in to peer pressure.

"You need ID for cigarettes and alcohol. Drug dealers don't ask for ID. They don't care how old you are. It's too easy for teenagers to get hold of drugs. Drugs are everywhere and somebody will always know somebody who will sell you some. Parks like Reddish Vale, where Serena died are often frequented by teenagers taking drugs at night because they think that there is less chance of them getting caught but when things go badly the emergency services may struggle to get to their aid in these badly lit, inaccessible places quickly enough.

"We thought that Serena would approach her mum with anything because they had such a strong open relationship. When your children are young you get to know their friends but when they become teenagers it's just not the same. You can never know everything about your child and you can't wrap them in cotton wool either, all you can do is give them the best advice you can and we did.

"Unfortunately there are websites where people talk openly about their drug habits and which drugs they like and don't like and glorify the effects. No street drugs are safe; they are not regulated and can contain other substances to increase the profit margin. Every few months there are new drugs with trendy street names available and it's almost impossible for parents to keep track of. Serena wouldn't want another teenager to die like she did and we wouldn't wish the grief we feel to be felt by anyone. Remember, anybody can have a bad reaction to drugs even if they have taken it before."

Detective Sergeant Dave Jordan from Stockport CID said: "Serena's death was a tragic and needless one. Sadly, this is a stark reminder that drugs are dangerous and can kill people.

"We are now getting close to the summer months where many young people will be taking exams for their GCSEs and A-levels, meaning the end of term is near.

"They will be in celebratory spirit, and there will no doubt be many end of term parties being held where there may be opportunities for them to experiment with drugs and alcohol.

"I would urge parents to be aware of where their children are going and they must give their children a strong message about the dangers of drugs."

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