New chapter offers further insight into Martha’s story

New chapter offers further insight into Martha’s story

Anne-Marie Cockburn

Following Martha’s death, her mother Anne-Marie Cockburn, wrote a book entitled 5,742 Days: A Mother’s Journey Through Loss

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Didcot and Wallingford. Call me on 01865 425425

TOURISTS, commuters and shoppers will be handed the updated story of teenager Martha Fernback, who died from a drug overdose, to mark the anniversary of her death.

Martha, 15, a Cherwell School pupil from Summertown, Oxford, died after collapsing in Hinksey Park on July 20 last year.

She had a heart attack two hours after taking half a gram of crystallised MDMA – the drug Ecstasy.

Following Martha’s death, her mother Anne-Marie Cockburn, wrote a book entitled 5,742 Days: A Mother’s Journey Through Loss, with the title marking Martha’s short life.

Miss Cockburn, 43, said: “The updated version of the book is with the publishers and will be ready for the anniversary. Copies will be handed out around Oxford and on the London Underground.”

On Saturday, the day before the anniversary, books will be left in restaurants, cafes, museums and other public places in Oxford. There will also be a public picnic on Saturday, from 12.30pm at Hinksey Lake in the park.

Miss Cockburn has added a new chapter, to include details about the court case involving the youth who supplied the drug, and her public forgiveness of him.

It also includes Miss Cockburn’s view that recreational drugs should be legalised and regulated, a stance she made public at the inquest into Martha’s death at Oxfordshire Coroner’s Court last month.

She has called for meetings with Home Secretary Theresa May, Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper and Crime Prevention Minister Norman Baker.

Miss Cockburn added: “I haven’t yet heard from Theresa May’s office but I will keep on campaigning because I don’t think prohibition is working – a guy died at Glastonbury and he was supposed to have taken ketamine.

“I don’t fear meeting Theresa May or making MPs uncomfortable because standing by your child’s grave is a very uncomfortable position for a parent to be in.

“Modern society wants to take recreational drugs but if drugs were regulated they would be safer.

“MPs hide behind the barrier of prohibition, but what I am proposing will save lives.

“Strict and responsible regulation of recreational drugs is vital.

“Had Martha been able to access drugs that had been legally produced and labelled accordingly, she would have been able to make a more informed decision.

“In fact, I’d go so far as to say that she might still be alive.”

Yvette Cooper’s office has issued a statement saying she is willing to meet Miss Cockburn.

At the inquest on June 12, coroner Darren Salter recorded a verdict of accidental death. The cause of death was MDMA toxicity.

Miss Cockburn has set up the site whatmarthadidnext.org to help safeguard the lives of young people.

A parent's tale

The new chapter in the book is called Bringing You Up To Date.

In it, Miss Cockburn writes: “Martha was a normal teenager – there is no story behind the story.

“I knew she had started to dabble with drugs and was early on in that phase. I felt helpless as I didn’t feel equipped to address this subject with her as I knew very little. When I sat down to talk to her about it she was almost blase about it.

“This terrified me as I could see she was desensitised to the dangers. I went into her school and did what I could to help her to see sense, but young people these days aren’t as easily scared as my generation was.”

Miss Cockburn’s book has been published by Oxford-based publisher Infinite Ideas, priced £9.99. Ten per cent of proceeds from each book sold will be donated to the What Martha Did Next fund, a charitable trust managed by the Oxfordshire Community Foundation.

The fund will be used to raise awareness of what happened to Martha and to prevent other people from succumbing to the same dangers.

  • Our top stories:

Adding extra lanes to A34 through Oxfordshire could cost £800m

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Monday 24th November 2014

PLANS to widen the A34 in both directions through Oxfordshire would cost at least £800 million, a new report has revealed.

Update: Road reopened after two people cut free following collision on the A44 near Begbroke

Oxford Mail:

12:44pm Monday 24th November 2014

THE A44 is closed following an incident between Spring Hill Road and Sandy Lane/ Rutten Lane between Yarnton and Begbroke.

Grieving family watches as motorist appears in court accused of killing Liberty Baker

Oxford Mail:

3:55pm Monday 24th November 2014

A MOTORIST accused of killing 14-year-old Liberty Baker as she walked to school appeared in court today.

Fog warning for Oxfordshire tonight and tomorrow morning

Oxford Mail:

3:25pm Monday 24th November 2014

A SEVERE fog warning has been put in place for Oxfordshire overnight and into tomorrow morning.

Explore today's interactive front page

Oxford Mail:

12:00pm Monday 24th November 2014

Want to explore our interactive front page? Here it is...

A44 at Wootton re-opens after accident

Oxford Mail:

9:46am Monday 24th November 2014

THE A44 near Wootton, West Oxfordshire has reopened in both directions after an accident.

Comments

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree