Dealer admits role in drugs death of mum

A drug dealer is today waiting to be sentenced after he admitted his role in the death of an Ipswich mother.

A drug dealer is today waiting to be sentenced after he admitted his role in the death of an Ipswich mother.

Since 42-year-old mum of three Amanda Bennett was found collapsed behind a row of shops eight months ago, Michael Smith has denied that he supplied her with the drugs she had taken that day. Miss Bennett was found unconscious and died in hospital two days later.

However, now, Smith, 44, of Langer Road, Felixstowe, who was due to have gone on trial today at Ipswich Crown Court, has changed his plea to guilty – and next month will be sentenced for his crime.

Miss Bennett, of Swinburne Road, Ipswich, was discovered unconscious and in what was described as a “critical condition” on August 12 last year at the back of the shops in Cambridge Drive following reports of a man and woman behaving suspiciously.


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A worker from the One Stop convenience store and a man who lives in the flats above found her collapsed in the car park area.

They contacted the emergency services and attempted to resuscitate her while waiting for the paramedics to arrive. She died two days later in Ipswich Hospital.

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Smith was arrested the night Miss Bennett was found collapsed, a few streets away in Alderlee.

Smith, who at the time was living in Jasmine Close, Trimley St Martin, has pleaded guilty to supplying a class A drug. He is scheduled to be sentenced at the crown court on May 5.

Timeline:-

? August 12 – 7pm: Amanda Bennett is found unconscious behind the shops in Cambridge Drive.

? August 12 – 7.30pm: Michael Smith is arrested a few streets away on suspicion of supplying drugs.

? August 15 – Smith is brought before magistrates in Ipswich and charged with supplying heroin. He pleads not guilty.

? September 2 – Miss Bennett’s funeral takes place at Ipswich Crematorium West Chapel.

? Today – Smith’s trial due to start at Ipswich Crown Court but he has now changed his plea to guilty.

? May 5 – Smith will appear before a judge, who will hear the full facts before passing sentence.:-

The tragic death of Amanda Bennett:-

MUCH-loved Amanda Bennett was starting to get her life back together after months of battling the booze.

With her first grandchild on the way and help from alcohol councillors, things should have been getting better for the 42-year-old who was described as the life and soul of the area where she lived.

However, Miss Bennett’s world was to take a tragic turn when, on an evening in August last year, she was supplied with heroin – and later found collapsed behind a row of shops. Just four days after she died in hospital, her first grandchild was born. Her 18-year-old daughter Serena gave birth to son Jesse James.

Family of Miss Bennett said her downward spiral in life had been through no fault of her own and she was just caught up in difficult circumstances.

A former pupil at Thurleston High School, she was one of three children and had an older brother Adrian, and a younger sister, Katrina.

She had three children of her own – Liam, 23, at the time of her death, Serena and another four-year-old daughter.

Her parents Michael and Patricia Bennett were left heartbroken by her death and struggling with their emotions with the grief of their tragic loss coming at a time of what should have been huge happiness with the birth of their great-grandson.

Mrs Bennett, 62, said: “Amanda was very, very well loved.”

The family knew of her alcoholism and believed the addiction had really taken hold at the beginning of last year and said she had been getting help to overcome it.

“She was battling that and winning. She is at peace now,” she said.

Mr Bennett, 64, said: “Amanda was a wonderful mum, always coming after her dad to do things. I used to go down and cut her grass. She would say to me ‘what would I do without you’, but Amanda would help me in return with other things.

“She was always loving and caring, and if someone wanted to buy something at the shops she would give her last penny away even if she needed it.”

An ex-boyfriend of Miss Bennett’s described her as “very popular” and “a beautiful person on the inside”.

“If you were close to her she would protect you and loved you to bits,” he said.

Do you have memories of Amanda? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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