British Social Worker Resigns After Teens Use Cocaine, Meth at House Party

By McCarton Ackerman 01/27/15

Teenagers as young as 13 were given drugs and booze at a house party.

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A British social worker has quit her job out of embarrassment after being exposed for hosting a party at her home where kids as young as 13 drank alcohol and snorted cocaine.

Susan Downing, 37, was given a two-year suspended jail term after pleading guilty to allowing her home to be used for the sale of cocaine and methamphetamines. The social worker was also high at the all-night party, which took place early last year in the town of Rishton. One attendee reported that Downing was "gurning with her jaw swinging."

Although the alcohol consumed at the home reportedly belonged to Downing, the drugs were supplied by her friend. Rachel MacLachlan, 32, offered amphetamines to a 15-year-old girl and cocaine to a 13-year-old boy to sniff through a straw. She received a three-year jail sentence after pleading guilty to supplying cocaine and offering to supply meth. 

The party became exposed when a friend of the 13-year-old boy found out he had done cocaine and told his relatives. After his parents reported the incident to police, the boy later took a urine test, which came back positive for the drug. The 15-year-old girl later told authorities that MacLachlan gave her cocaine after she asked for some. Downing's attorney chalked up her reckless behavior to "stress" over the downward spiral her life had taken.

"Her behavior was abhorrent morally and I can certainly understand public disgust, but this young woman had a blip," said her lawyer, Sukhdev Garcha. "She thought she couldn't ask for help as she thought that as being a failure. She was isolated. She sought solace in drink, which had a slippery slope to drugs...the arrest was a wake-up call and she has realized her behavior was not acceptable to herself or to society."

MacLachlan's attorney, Robert Elias, blamed her behavior on alcohol and drug use and said she has since sought counseling, but the judge imposed a jail sentence on her and not Downing because "the offense of supplying cocaine to two children is a grave one."

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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.

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