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  1. ITV Report

Mother of Cornish MDMA victim describes family's devastation

Credit: ITV West Country
  • Kathy Wardle, Cornwall Reporter, describes meeting the mother of an MDMA victim.

Walking up the path to a pretty cottage in a tiny hamlet on Cornwall's rugged north coast, nowhere could have seemed further away from the murky world of drugs.

When I visited Sue Fisher in her home near Bude, she told me she had moved her family from Peterborough to Cornwall so they would have a quiet and safe upbringing. She never expected to lose her 21-year-old son Oliver to ecstasy.

''I honestly thought he was safe in a small town, and I think that's the problem in Cornwall, down here they are small towns, and people don't think it's there but it is.''

"If only one thing comes from his death I want other teenagers out there to know that this isn't fun. Once he put that pill in his mouth and swallowed it he didn't stand a chance. It kills me knowing the hell that he went through before he died, and kids don't see that, they see it as popping a pill, you have a nice time, that's not it.''

Sue says Oliver wasn't a party animal, or troubled or rebellious. He was a young professional businessman who made a tragic mistake. His death last April has left a trail of wreckage so vast all I really want to do is hug Sue, instead of interviewing her.

A member of the family has become very ill because of the impact of Oliver's death, which has put an enormous amount of extra pressure on Sue. That's on top of the unbearable grief which Oliver's sister Bethanie describes as 'agony'.

Sue tells me that on Mother's Day she received text messages from Oliver's close friends to say Happy Mother's Day, instead of from her son.

She keeps a memory box full of Oliver's personal possessions. As she looks though it her eyes, and mine, well with tears as she strokes a lock of Oliver's hair in a little box.

Bethanie jokes to her mum, asking why there are mobile phones, computer tablets and pens in the box. ''Because they were Oliver's, and they're not going anywhere'' says his Mum.

Every year on Oliver's birthday the family go the beach to fly kites in Oliver's memory. Sue says he would have wanted ''to be remembered for how he lived, not how he died''.