CPS offers Jeni Larmour’s mum chance to review criminal charges linked to her death
The Crown Prosecution Service has offered the mother of a Co Armagh teenager the possibility of a review of criminal charges in a case linked to the death of her daughter.
Eighteen-year-old Jeni Larmour from Newtownhamilton, a former deputy head girl from the Royal School Armagh, died within hours of starting Newcastle University last year.
A post-mortem found she had died from ketamine, a medical anaesthetic often used as a recreational drug.
Last week one of Ms Larmour’s flatmates, 19-year-old Kavir Kalliecharan from Leeds, was sentenced to two years on conditional discharge after pleading guilty to possessing Class A and Class B drugs.
But Mrs Larmour said that Kalliecharan was not cross-examined in spite of claiming her daughter had supplied the drugs which killed her.
“The solicitor was given a 10-minute opportunity to paint his client in a whiter-than-white situation,” she told BBC News NI.
“The inference was that Jeni had been in Newcastle for a couple of days, which would have given her opportunity to have perhaps purchased some drugs.”
However, Mrs Larmour said she travelled to Newcastle with her daughter and was with her “at all times” until the night of her death.
She said that police sniffer dogs only found evidence of drugs in Kalliecharan’s room and no evidence was found anywhere else.
“Jeni wasn’t there to tell her story - she was dead,” she added.
She subsequently wrote to the CPS with queries about the lack of challenge to Mr Kalliecharan solicitor.
After initially being rebuffed, she wrote again with more emphasis, formulating 11 questions based on what was said in court.
The CPS response, seen by the News Letter, states that it will now meet with Mrs Larmour to address her 11 questions, and if she is still not satisfied they will grant a Victim’s Right to a Review.
“So, I am battered and bruised but with hope that justice will prevail,” Mrs Larmour added.
President of National Union of Students Ellen Fearon said there has been a significant move away from a zero tolerance approach of drugs in UK universities but that bigger changes were needed.
“It is so harmful to have that zero tolerance approach,” she said. It is in the best interests of everyone “to move away from that moralistic punitive stand and [instead] seeing safe drug advice as a key component of student health and wellbeing support” she added.
Universities UK, the collective voice of 140, British universities told the News Letter it has no position on approaches to drug use among students. However it said that universities are focused on working closely with public health authorities to mitigate the harms of drug use. The organisation said it supports the SOS Drug and Alcohol Impact programme, which uses “drug harm reduction policies and interventions to reduce the negative outcomes of student drug use”.
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