User disposed of drugs at death flat

Steven Mawdesley
Steven Mawdesley
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A SELFISH drug user who disposed of narcotics and paraphernalia after a young woman died in his flat has been jailed.

Preston Crown Court heard how Steven Mawdesley ransacked his flat and removed any incriminating evidence before contacting emergency services after Stephanie Balcarras was found dead on the couch one morning in October 2009.

Stephanie Balcarras

Stephanie Balcarras

She had died from the effects of a drug known as GBL – a liquid steroid alternative – and alcohol at his address on North Promenade, St Annes.

Before ringing 999, the 43-year-old disposed of a quantity of steroid tablets as well as two bottles labelled methadone and two syringes.

He admitted an act intended to pervert the course of justice.

Sentencing Mawdesley to 18-months in prison, Judge Simon Newell told the defendant his actions had been extremely selfish.

He added: “It seems your first thought was for yourself and your last thought was for Stephanie.”

The court heard how emergency services arrived and found Mawdesley was verbally aggressive and drifting in and out of consciousness.

Paul Brookwell, prosecuting, said he went on to tell police he had earlier found her cold, fell asleep himself and then phoned for an ambulance.

At around 5am he made a phone call, telling 999 operatives he thought she had died.

The court was told how Stephanie’s death had been devastating for her family.

Back in 2000, the defendant received five years in prison for indecent assaults on girls under the age of 16 and for administering a noxious substance with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

That case involved a similar type of drug, called GHB.

Richard Hunt, defending, said his client and the woman had shared a liking for illicit drugs but he had not known she was taking his GBL.

He added: “His actions, while being against the law didn’t in fact stop the police in their investigation.

“His angst and agonies over her death still exist.”

After the case, Stephanie’s mum Teresa Kerrigan said: “She wasn’t into hard drugs. She had stopped all that when she reached 17.

“I’m happy with the sentence he has got. He is a complete idiot.”

Det Insp Brian King. of Blackpool Police, added: “By doing what he did, Mawdesley could easily have jeopardised the investigation and I hope the fact he has been convicted illustrates what a serious offence this is.”