Two teenage boys from a rural community in Devon bought illegal drugs from the dark web and sold them to children, including a 15-year-old girl who died after taking ecstasy.
The pair, aged 14 and 15, purchased the drugs using the cryptocurrency bitcoin and passed them on to children as young as 12.
Among the children who took drugs obtained by the pair was Hannah Bragg, a talented sport player, who died after taking ecstasy near a disused viaduct in Tavistock in June 2018 and suffering a seizure.
The younger boy, who was with Hannah at the time, searched his phone to try to find out how to treat a seizure, phoned a friend and only after some time dialled 999.
On Friday the boy, now 16, was given a youth rehabilitation order at Plymouth crown court with 24 months’ supervision and told to carry out 70 hours’ unpaid work.
The older boy, now 17, was given a a youth rehabilitation order with 12 months’ supervision and 50 hours’ unpaid work.
Judge Paul Darlow said the pair, who cannot be named, were involved in a sophisticated operation using the dark web and bitcoin and supplying “high purity” drugs.
The court was told that as well as ecstasy, the two supplied LSD and ketamine to youngsters.
Darlow said the younger boy admitted supplying the ecstasy to Hannah which led to the “misery and sadness” of her death.
The court heard a 12-year-old girl was also offered LSD by the then 15-year-old who told her: “You want to try some. it’s the safest thing to do, you cannot get addicted.”
Outside court, Hannah’s parents, Karen and David, said they would never know if she had taken the drug by choice or if she was pressured into it.
They said: “It is so easy to think that my child would not take drugs but they are out there and they are easily available. Hannah was very well behaved. She played rugby, was a keen horse rider and was very active. She had lots of friends and had a good life. It has totally devastated us and is something that we will never come to terms with.”
Senior investigating officer Det Insp Adrian Hawkins said: “The criminal activity in this case involved the use of the dark web – a network utilised by those who care little for consequence and who serve to make money.
“The drugs were delivered by post straight to the residential addresses of the defendants using various methods of packaging to disguise what the package contained.”