Drug dealer freed after appealing sentence despite teenager's death

Cory Phipps, left, was jailed for 32 months after supplying MDMA to Ben Moughton, right.

Cory Phipps, left, was previously jailed for 32 months after supplying MDMA to Ben Moughton, right. - Credit: Suffolk Police/Amanda Moughton

A drug dealer who supplied a teenager with MDMA hours before his death has been freed from custody after having his sentence reduced on appeal.

Cory Phipps was sentenced in April to more than two-and-a-half years in a young offender's institute for supplying the pills, which he bought from the dark web, to Ben Moughton and his friends on May 30, 2020, hours before the 18-year-old was found face down in a waterlogged patch of grass along the Linear Park in Lowestoft.

The 19-year-old, however, appealed against his sentence at the Court of Appeal on Friday, July 9, where he was handed a new 21-month sentence, suspended for 18 months.

Cory Phipps, who was jailed for 32 months after supplying MDMA to three friends.

Cory Phipps, has had his 32 months sentence changed to a suspended sentence of 21 months after an appeal. - Credit: Suffolk Police

The new sentence also includes up to 30 days of a rehabilitation activity requirement and 150 hours of unpaid work, as well as a three month curfew between 8pm and 6am.

Phipps also previously admitted possession of 13 MDMA pills with intent to supply when police searched his Sussex Road home on May 31, 2020, following Mr Moughton's death, as well as being concerned in the supply of MDMA between December 29, 2019 and May 31, 2020 following an examination of his mobile phone.

At his sentencing at Ipswich Crown Court earlier this year, prosecutor Hugh Vass said Phipps told the group the nine pills, which he sold for £40, were "really good", with later examination finding they had double the average concentration of MDMA.

He said: "Ben began to behave strangely and his friends were sufficiently concerned that they called another friend so he could be taken somewhere safer.

"He kept walking off and finally it appears he ended up lying in a puddle or wet grass by some bushes.

Most Read

"Eventually a 999 call was made and paramedics arrived but, sadly, by the time he arrived in hospital, and after having a cardiac arrest in the ambulance, he was declared dead on arrival."

Mitigating, Stephen Dyble told the court Phipps has shown "genuine remorse" and "deep regret".

A post-mortem listed Mr Moughton's, also known as Ben Smith, cause of death as a drug-related drowning.

Ben Moughton, also known as Ben Smith, who died in May 2020 after taking three MDMA pills.

Ben Moughton, also known as Ben Smith, who died in May 2020 after taking three MDMA pills. - Credit: Courtesy of Amanda Kennedy

Following Phipps' sentencing, Mr Moughton's mother Amanda Kennedy said she felt no malice towards the teenager, but warned people of the danger of illegal drugs.

She said: "No one should be scared to try and get help for someone, especially in fear where they may get into trouble.

"We need basic life support taught in schools and it may have given his friend's a chance to give him first aid.

"I would also like to raise awareness of the strong pills on our streets that are so dangerous to young people and everyone."

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter