Mum of Lincoln fresher who died of overdose blames ‘peer pressure’

Ashley Hughes died tragically after taking two pills

A grieving mother has blamed “peer pressure” for her son’s death, after three students were jailed for supplying the pills that killed him.

Ashley Hughes, 19, had only been at the University of Lincoln for a few months when he died of an overdose after taking two ecstasy pills in December last year.

Reis Bilal, Luke Green, both 19, and Haydon Watson, 21, admitted drugs supply charges following his death. They were given jail terms of between one and three years.

Lincoln Crown Court heard that Ashley had collapsed after taking drugs and was pronounced dead a short time later.

His friend Luke Green admitted buying them for him from fellow student Reis Bilal after they pooled their cash to get eight tablets. It was later discovered Bilal obtained the drugs from third year student Haydon Watson.

Ashley, 19, who died after an overdose

Ashley, 19, who died after an overdose

Following the sentencing on Friday, Ashley’s mum Lisa Leigh said her son was a “gentle giant without a bad bone in his body.”

She said: “I find it very hard to accept what has happened just because of Ashley’s nature.

“In my heart I knew he didn’t drink, smoke, and certainly was not interested in drugs. What people don’t see is the pain and hurt for the family and friends left behind.

“If it was a car accident I could accept it, but not this. It was so out of character. He was at university for 13 weeks but people don’t change in that short time.

“I have read text messages on his phone in his own words saying that it was peer pressure.”

She said: “With regards to the boys who sold Ashley the drugs, yes, they have done wrong and their uni life has ended, but their families still have their sons, something we no longer have.

“I never knew that two ecstasy tablets could kill someone.

“There should be no mercy for people who sell drugs and prey on the innocent minded.

“I feel sorry for the boys’ families at what monsters they have become. I would gladly swap places with them as at least they can still see and speak to their boys.”

Bilal, 19, of Ruston Way, Lincoln, was sentenced to two years in a young offenders’ institution; Green, 19, of Grantham Street, Lincoln, was handed a 12 month sentence.

Watson, 21, of High Street, Lincoln, was jailed for three years.