This Morning featured two mothers who formed an unlikely friendship after losing their children to drugs.  

Kerry Roberts’s 15 year old daughter Leah Hayes was killed after taking MDMA in Northallerton in North Yorkshire in May 2019. She was supplied by Connor Kirkwood.

Connor, alongside Mitchell Southern, 19, pleaded guilty to selling drugs in 2020 and was sentence to 21 months in a young offenders centre. He was released after six months, partly due to his good behavior and the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Tammy, Connor’s mother, spoke alongside Kerry. Tammy said that her son, Connor, was groomed by urban County Lines gangs who recruit vulnerable young people to sell drugs in rural areas. 

Tammy’s comments about her son smiling and studying after being released by a young offenders institution were insensitive to Kerry, Kerry’s grieving mother.

Kerry Roberts' daughter Leah Hayes died after taking MDMA in May 2019 in Northallerton, North Yorkshire. Connor Kirkwood, 17 at the time, supplied Leah with the drug that killed her. Kerry has revealed she's become sisters in arms with his mother, Tammy

Kerry Roberts’ daughter Leah Hayes died after taking MDMA in May 2019 in Northallerton, North Yorkshire. Leah was 17 when Connor Kirkwood, a 17-year-old, gave her the drug that killed. Kerry has now revealed that she is now a sister in arms with his mother Tammy.  

Tammy Kirkwood appeared on This Morning alongside Kerry, and said her son's 'smile' was coming back. Connor was sentenced to 21 months in a young offenders institute, but only served six months

Tammy Kirkwood and Kerry appeared on This Morning, where she said that Kerry’s smile was coming back. Connor was sentenced 21 months in a Young Offenders Institute, but served only six months. 

Kerry first spoke out, recalling Leah’s ‘funny’ and ‘lively’ teen. 

“She was full of it. She was just 15 when she was quite mouthy. 

Kerry explained that Leah called her to inform her that she wasn’t feeling well the night before her death. 

Kerry was pregnant at the time with a second child, now 2. Her partner had told Kerry that everything was normal at home and that Leah was just going to a few friends. 

Leah, 15, took the drug while out with some friends to experiment

Connor had been groomed by county lines drug dealers from the age of 14

Leah, 15 years old, took the drug while out with friends to experiment. Connor, who was 14 years old, was a victim of county lines drug dealers.

“I wasn’t there. I was in the hospital. I was pregnant with my little girl, who is almost two years old, so I wasn’t home. But my partner, he said it was nothing.

“It was just a normal Saturday evening. She had a friend in her room, the music was on, and they were going to go out.

They thought Leah had overindulged when they called the couple later.  

“She was on a floor. My partner stayed in my car. We thought she had drank too much and I was going pull her to the car,” the distraught mother said.  

“I reached halfway and called him back. I knew something wasn’t right. I reached her and she was quite still. She said “Mum”, so she was conscious. But it didn’t take her long to go,” she added. 

“I believe she passed in the parking lot. She recalled that as she walked into the hospital, the officers and nurses all had their heads down so she knew. 

Holly and Phil heard her tell Phil that the pain was still raw and that Leah’s passing ‘could’ have occurred yesterday.

But she said that her first thought after her daughter’s passing was to be ‘angry’. 

“I was angry at her. My first thought was “Why would her do it?”She replied, ” 

‘Now I think she was just ignorant, naïve, she was 15.’

People said it was hard to listen to Tammy saying Connor was smiling again and studying, while Kerry's daughter was dead

People said Tammy was too sweet to hear Kerry’s daughter crying while Connor smiled again and was studying. 

She also mentioned that MDMA was often called a “party drug” and that it could have attracted Leah because she might have thought she was going to have some fun with it.  

Connor’s mother sat beside Kerry on the couch and shared her side of the story. She described how her son had been ‘groomed” by an adult drug dealer from the age of 14 to 17. 

She said that Connor was a happy-go lucky child who loved sports. However, his behavior changed after he was sent to boarding schools at the age of 14. 

Tammy, concerned for the well-being of her son, transferred him to the school nearby after noticing a change in his mood.  

Kerry remembered Leah as a 'funny' teen, but admitted she was naïve about drugs and possibly took MDMA because she just thought it would be a bit of fun

Kerry remembered Leah as a ‘funny’ teen, but admitted she was naïve about drugs and possibly took MDMA because she just thought it would be a bit of fun 

She stated that Connor’s big, big smile began to fade’ and that he lost interest sports. 

She also said that Connor struggled with anxiety and adjusting, and that the drug-dealing gangs prayed to his vulnerabilities. 

She stated, “It’s children introducing kids to adults that are using them.” 

She recalled the time that police knocked on her house to search for Connor, the night Leah had died.   

“We just thought that he got into an argument with a friend, and took off from there,” she said. 

Tammy called the police after the teen finally returned home. She claimed that they entered her home and quickly arrested him.  

She described it as a nightmare’ when she learned that Connor was involved with Leah’s death. 

She said, “You just go numb,” and added, “How can my child be a part of this?”

She stated that she had called police several times about her son Leah before Leah’s tragic death. Connor should have received more support by the Yorkshire police. 

Connor was arrested. He was sent to a young offender institute. He was released six month later. 

After Connor was sentenced, Kerry and Tammy were reunited by police to help them both process their experiences. This was when they formed an unlikely friendship.  

Kerry stated, “We are both mothers, we are victims in different manners, but we are both victims.” We want the same things. 

Tammy said that she was nervous meeting Kerry for the first-time because she felt a lot of guilt. 

“I’m the drug dealer’s mum.” She said, referring to how others might view her, “That’s scum of earth, I didn’t have control over the child.” 

She stated that they spoke once a week and it made it easy for them to share their stories, understand each others, and it just flowed. 

Now, both mothers are collaborating on a campaign called Do you Know MDMA? to warn young people about drug abuse.

Kerry has called for a change to the law to protect children and provide tougher sentences for offenders. 

Tammy stated that Connor was rehabilitating and returning to normal after his time in young offender institute. 

‘His smile has returned, I can see glimpses. He is extremely focused right now. He works for 48 hours a week, goes to college at night, and then he hits the gym. 

‘He’s very focused right now. Every once in a while, I catch a glimpse of his smile. 

“And his passion for sports is coming back. But I still see that he is anxious. Sometimes he has described to me how his body feels, how anxious he is and how his heart is beating. That vulnerability is still there, I think.

She said she was worried about Connor being lured by a gang and tempted to sell drugs again. But she said all she could do for him was to support him and pray he wouldn’t.  

Viewers did not like this comment. They felt it was inappropriate to Kerry, who had recently lost her daughter. 

One wrote, “Can’t imagine what is it like to hear his smile coming back while your little girl’s never will,”