Boy, 16, found dead by his mum in a hostel was ‘groomed by drug gang’

INQUEST: Mother found her son dead in squalid hotel while running drugs for county lines gang

Ben Nelson-Roux’s family say he was ‘failed’ by social agencies and the police (Picture: Ben Lack)

The death of a 16-year-old boy who ended up in an adult homeless hostel after being groomed into dealing drugs will remain a mystery, an inquest has found.

Ben Nelson-Roux was found by his mum, Kate Roux, at the hostel in Harrogate, Yorkshire, in April 2020.

His parents say he had a ‘loving, supportive’ upbringing but struggled with ADHD and started smoking cannabis at just 12 years old.

After struggling with drug abuse in his early teens he was exploited by so-called county lines gangs who forced him to sell Class A substances, an inquest was told.

Kate says her son left home after his worsening behaviour caused a family rift, and refused to enter children’s care while showing increasing signs of a personality disorder.

Despite being known to police and 12 different government and social agencies, Ben was offered ‘no rehab, no suitable accommodation, no psychiatric support’, she claims.

She had planned to take him to an appointment with a private psychiatrist when she visited him.

Ben had a stable family life but went off the rails after getting into drugs, his family say (Picture: Ben Lack)

After finding his door locked and becoming alarmed, she broke down his door only to find his body face-down on his bed.

The coroner’s court was not able to make a finding on the medical cause of Ben’s death.

His pathologist said an invasive post-mortem could not be carried out due to a ‘blanket’ NHS Covid policy in North Yorkshire at the time, although Ben’s family contest the claim.

He left the family home after getting sucked into drug dealing aged just 15 (Picture: Ben Lack)

A toxicology sample found drugs and alcohol in his system but …read more

Source:: Metro News

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