British Teen Who Bragged About Drug Use on Facebook Died From Overdose

By McCarton Ackerman 02/17/16

The Heywood teen had a long history of drug use. 

British Teen Who Bragged About Drug Use Dies Of Drug Overdose
Photo via Shutterstock

Connor Batty, 15, passed away back in June 2014, but his story is only coming to light now through an inquest. It is being reported that the teen obtained methadone after meeting with his mother’s ex-boyfriend, Stuart Reynolds, whom he also smoked pot with. He was staying at a residential facility in the town of Heywood, but staff members reportedly didn’t address after the visit that he was “a bit drunk, his eyes all over the place appearing high and smelling of cannabis.” Batty died the next day. Reynolds told police that he kept methadone in a room in his home, but warned Batty not to take it because it was “horrible and addictive.”

The teenager had a long history of drug abuse and claimed to use marijuana regularly for pain relief after fracturing his ankle while jumping from a 25-foot wall in an attempt to escape police. Batty also chronicled his drug use publicly; a June 2014 Facebook photo shows a large amount of marijuana and the caption, “Last night was mad.”

Batty endured an extremely rocky upbringing. Both of his parents had substance abuse problems and his father eventually died of an overdose. Batty was placed on the U.K.’s Child Protection Register the day before he was born and lived with numerous foster families. He was moved to the Heywood facility in September 2013, but the care they provided that day was inadequate.

It was revealed at the hearing that Batty’s body wasn’t found until 15 hours after his death because staff at the home never checked on him. A staff member allegedly told another colleague that it was “normal” for him to sleep until 4 pm each day and “not to worry” because Batty would be “up in time for his Friday takeaway.”

However, coroner Lisa Hashmi noted that “on several occasions care, home staff referred Connor's cannabis use to police. But the staff indicated that they were told not to contact police on each and every occasion they believed Connor to be using cannabis.” She also added that “their advice was to confiscate any cannabis or paraphernalia found and contact police for the items to be collected. Staff also explained they had no powers to search Connor's person - only his room.”

 Meadows Care Ltd., which runs the facility, said in a statement that since Batty’s death, they have “rigorously reviewed every care, safety and wellbeing procedure in each of our homes to ensure the safety of all the young people in our care.” No criminal charges have been filed against either the facility or Reynolds.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.