Update: Coroner records verdict of accidental drug death for Martha Fernback

Martha's mother Anne-Marie Cockburn holds a poster outside the inquest today

Martha's mother Anne-Marie Cockburn holds a poster outside the inquest today

First published in News
Last updated

MARTHA FERNBACK, the schoolgirl who collapsed in Hinksey Park, died after taking MDMA, a coroner has said this afternoon as he recorded a verdict of accidental death.

The 15-year-old Cherwell School pupil died on July 20 last summer.

An inquest has been held at Oxfordshire Coroner's Court this morning and a verdict of accidental death has just been recorded by Coroner Darren Salter.

Martha's mother Anne-Marie Cockburn, from Summertown, has said outside the inquest that she wanted to meet Home Secretary Theresa May about her campaign to promote greater awareness about the dangers of drugs.

She poignantly held up a poster with Martha's face as she spoke to the media.

In a statement, she said: "It has been 328 days since my precious girl was safely by my side. Martha wanted to get high, she didn't want to die - no parent wants either but one is more preferable to the other. 

"I wish Martha was sitting her GCSEs along with her friends at school right now. I wish the drug education she received had enabled her to make a more safely informed decision instead of leaving her so vulnerable and in danger. I would like to meet with Home Secretary Teresa May, Minister for Crime Prevention Norman Baker and Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooperto start a serious dialogue for change from prohibition of recreational drugs."

In March Alex Williams was given a community sentence after admitted one count of possessing MDMA, a class-A drug also known as ecstasy, and supplying it to a schoolgirl on July 17 last year.

The 17-year-old from Sycamore Road in Botley sold about 1g of the substance, worth about £40, half of which ended up being taken by Cherwell School pupil Martha.

More to follow...

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