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Grieving dad of Scots teen who died after taking ecstasy calls for law targeting drug dealers

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The grieving dad of a teenager who died after taking ecstasy has called for a law targeting killer drug dealers. Stewart Handling’s 13-year-old daughter, Grace, took the drug at a party.

Her family was left “heartbroken all over again” when the man who admitted to giving Grace the fatal drugs was acquitted after the jury returned a not proven verdict.

Stewart, of Irvine, Ayrshire, said Callum Owens was charged with culpable homicide which allows juries wriggle room to deliver a not proven or not guilty verdict.The devastated dad-of-three and wife Lorraine are calling for Grace’s Law – legislation for causing death by drug dealing.

They are seeking a meeting with justice minister Keith Brown.Stewart said the recent case of two men being cleared of killing new mum Rebecca Tollan, 23, by supplying her with cocaine highlighted the flaws with the culpable homicide charge.He said: “What deterrent is there for dealers when they know they can wriggle out with the, ‘I didn’t mean to kill anyone’ defence?“The culpable homicide charge isn’t achievable in many cases involving Class A drugs because the loophole with it is you didn’t intend to cause death.“This allows juries to hand down not guilty or not proven verdicts.“Why can’t we implement a law where if you supply Class A drugs to someone and they die, you are charged with supplying with lethal consequences?“There should be a law that reflects the ramifications for dealers when someone dies.“If they are dealing, profit financially and someone dies there should be a charge that reflects this with a maximum sentence of 10 years.”Grace died after taking ecstasy in 2018.

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