Drug dealer stole mobile phone after friend's ecstasy death

A drug dealer stole a mobile phone from his friend after she collapsed and died from taking ecstasy and destroyed it to hide incriminating text messages.

Callum Lewis.
Callum Lewis.

Callum Lewis, 24, was jailed today for his actions over the death of 22-year-old Lizzie Hartley.

A court heard Lewis desperately tried to resuscitate Miss Hartley after she collapsed in the bathroom of a flat in Wakefield.

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But a judge described how, once she had been taken to hospital by emergency services, Lewis though “only of himself” in a bid avoid getting into trouble with police.

Lewis failed to get into the ambulance to go to hospital with his lifelong friend.

He kept her mobile phone before destroying it and deleted messages on his own phone which he had exchanged with Miss Hartley.

Judge Christopher Batty told Leeds Crown Court: “If ever there was an example of the devastating impact of the consumption of controlled drugs it is this.”

Simon Waley, prosecuting, said Miss Hartley had been out with friends in Wakefield city centre on November 15 last year and went back to a flat with others including, including Lewis.

Mr Waley said there came a time when the friend who lived at the flat went to bed and Miss Hartley was left alone with Lewis.

Miss Hartley then complained that she was feeling unwell and said she was going to have a shower.

Lewis went to check on her after she had been gone a long time and found her collapsed on the floor.

Mr Waley said Lewis immediately tried to revive Miss Hartley and called emergency services.

The prosecutor said Miss Hartley died from MDMA toxicity. Lewis was seen with his friend’s phone after the incident.

Mr Waley said Miss Hartley’s family were still distressed by the fact that Lewis did not go with her to hospital.

He said: “The defendant and Elizabeth had known each other for many, many years and that is one aspect that they struggle with.”

The court heard relatives were also distressed at losing photographs and other material stored on Miss Hartley’s phone.

Lewis denied knowing what had happened to Miss Hartley’s phone when he was arrested after the incident.

He was found in possession of a small amount of mkat.

Officers were able to recover text messages which he had deleted from his own phone which linked him to the supply of significant amounts of class A and B drugs in the months leading up to the incident.

He admitted being involved in drug supply but denied stealing Miss Hartley’s phone until he was due to go on trial.

Lewis, of Lapwing View, Horbury, pleaded guilty to theft, perverting justice, supplying class A and B drugs and possessing a class A and B drugs. He was jailed for three years and seven months.

Mark McKone, mitigating, said Lewis had not supplied Miss Hartley with the drug which caused or death or he would be facing a more serious charge.

The barrister said Lewis, a self-employed builder, had become involved in drugs in the months before his friend’s death.

Mr McKone said Lewis had been selling it to people he knew in order to fund his own habit.

He added that Lewis had stopped taking drugs since Miss Hartley’s death.

Judge Christopher Batty said: “I do not sentence you as the person who supplied the drug but as someone who supplied the drugs to others in the months prior to this tragic night.

“I also sentence you for stealing her phone and perverting the course of justice by stealing her phone and deleting messages.

“You did so knowing that a close friend of many years standing had died and you did so with thoughts of no one but yourself.