A MUM whose two children drowned in a bath tragedy 15 years ago, became a heroin addict and allowed her Basingstoke home to be used as a drugs den.
It was on June 22, 1999, that Lyn Brownsea slipped and fell while supervising her two children, three-year-old Natasha Russell and 18-month-old Abigail Brownsea, while they bathed at her flat in Alresford. She hit her head and fell unconscious. When she came around, she discovered the girls had drowned in the bath water.
Last Friday, Brownsea was one of four defendants in the dock at Winchester Crown Court who appeared for sentence for various charges related to heroin drug supply in Basingstoke, where she now lives.
The court heard Brownsea, 36, and her partner Adrian Twining, 49, had allowed their home in Tewkesbury Close, Popley, to be used by two Londoners to deal heroin in December last year.
Hassan Ocloo, 21, acted as a courier to take drugs from London to Basingstoke while a 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was a street dealer, Claire Marlow, prosecuting, said.
The court heard officers saw the 17-year-old dealing on December 18 last year in Popley, which led to them to search the house. They found 74 wraps of heroin in Ocloo's car with a street value of £1,875.
Mobile phones seized during the arrests found evidence of drug dealing by Ocloo, Brownsea and the 17-year-old, with Brownsea giving wraps of the drug to a friend, the court heard.
Robert Grey, defending Brownsea, said his client had descended slowly into drug use since her daughter’s deaths. He said she and her partner were paid by the Londoners in heroin.
He told the court: “She’s a Class A drug user because of that tragedy. She’s motivated to come off drugs. She knows she cannot spend the rest of her life on drugs.”
All four defending barristers said their clients were on the bottom rungs of a drugs syndicate known as Diesel.
Passing sentence, Judge Jane Miller described Brownsea as “a sad person”.
She said: “I have read of the tragic event in your life, and it was that which caused you to go into drug use.
“But you and your partner allowed your house for drug supply. Of course, it was the only way you could get the drugs but that’s no excuse.”
She sentenced Brownsea to 15 months in jail, suspended for two years, for allowing her house to be used in the supply of drugs, and for supplying heroin – offences she had pleaded guilty to at a previous hearing.
Twining had pleaded guilty to allowing his house to be used in the supply of drugs. He received a 24-week sentence, suspended for two years.
Ocloo and the 17-year-old pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs. Ocloo, of Hanwell, West London, received a two-year sentence, suspended for two years, while the 17-year-old received an intensive supervision and surveillance order for 91 days.
An inquest into the deaths of Brownsea’s two children recorded accidental death verdicts. It heard that when she came to, and discovered her children in the bath, she ran screaming into the street, but passers-by were unable to revive the girls.
She told the inquest: “I think I slipped on the floor and hit my head on the edge of the bath. Abigail might have slipped and Natasha tried to help her, or she had tried to get out. I don’t know.”
Natasha was declared dead at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital, in Winchester. Abigail was taken to the intensive care unit at Southampton General Hospital but died the following day with her parents at her side.