A DEVASTATED mother campaigning to make it a specific criminal offence to supply drugs to children under 16 has seen her online petition pass the 10,000 signature-mark.

Leah's Law would be named after Leah Heyes, who died aged 15 after being supplied with MDMA also known as ecstasy.

Her mother, Kerry Roberts, from Northallerton, has been gathering signatures on an online parliamentary petition, and had hoped to reach the 10,000 target by April 6 to support the campaign which is due to be raised in the House of Comments. However she hit the target early, securing 10,000 names on Wednesday this week. This means the government will now formally respond.

Leah died in May 2019 after being supplied with two large doses of ecstasy during a gathering in the Applegarth car park in Northallerton. Within hours she was dead. Two teenagers, aged 17 and 18 were prosecuted for supplying Class A drugs.

Separately, North Yorkshire Police are continuing investigations into the deaths of a 15-year-old boy from York and a 14-year-old girl from Scarborough who died after being given drugs.

Ms Roberts she was "overwhelmed" to have hit the 10,000 target, and urged people to keep publicising the petition.

"Thank you so much to everyone for signing and sharing," she added.

Darlington and Stockton Times:

"I want to see a change in the law to make clear that any person under the age of 16 cannot consent to taking illegal substances. This will have a two-pronged effect in keeping young people safe but also holding those who supply accountable for death and serious injury as a result.

"Leah's death cannot have been in vain, we have to do this. Leah went out with her friends that night. She experimented with MDMA, which killed her. I got a call to say she isn't well, shortly after I got there Leah took her last breath.

"It's illegal to buy alcohol or cigarettes and to consent to sex under 16, there must be more safety measures against drugs being offered to children."

Ms Roberts is being supported by Thirsk and Malton MP Kevin Hollinrake who has been given the go ahead to take Leah's Law to Parliament as a ten minute rule bill, but this would only be the initial first step.

Ms Roberts said reaching the 10,000 signatures will "support the debate in Parliament and show how absolutely crucial this is".

"We have to stop children being given drugs,"she added. "It's horrifying, they have no idea what they are doing and how dangerous it is. I can't bear the thought of another family going through the heartbreak and sorrow we have been through in the past three years."

The petition is available by clicking here.