Provided by Lee’s Mother
Lee was born 25th April 1985.
I brought Lee up alone as his father was abusive to me and he spent time in prison for petty crimes.
Lee was a typical young boy cute, funny with a cheeky grin! Everyone loved him. He was hyperactive and this sometimes got him into trouble.
Lee idolised his father but he never saw him often. This had a lasting effect on his mental and emotional state, which nothing was ever going to repair.
When Lee was 8 years old I got married and we left Birmingham and moved to Tamworth to give Lee a better life. Lee found it hard to adjust to new surroundings, school and the friends he left behind. But apart from this he was a normal happy boy.
Lee always struggled at school and started displaying behavioural issues. He got into fights, never completed any of the work that was expected and eventually refused to go. Education social workers became involved and they began a statutory assessment of Lee that stopped and started for a couple of years. He was suspended a few times and even expelled from one school.
At this time my marriage had broken up; Lee and I moved back to my mothers’ house in Birmingham. He started a new school that was far better equipped to help kids that had problems with learning. When they finished the assessment, Lee had a statement of education that provided extra support for him at school. It did not help and he began experiencing other problems. Lee was bullied at this school and his life became a misery he never wanted to go. When I took him he just came home. His truancy became a problem.
Then he started to get into trouble outside of school. He got into fights, got involved in petty crime and appeared in court on several occasions, receiving sentences of fines, conditional discharges and suspended sentences.
The North Birmingham youth offending team got involved and they tried hard to help him. None of Lee’s offending was really serious. I expected he would grow out of it and that it was due to the company he was now keeping.
Then Lee began using cannabis. This was my worst nightmare and his behaviour became more rebellious. I was worried and sought advice where I could but nothing seemed to help.
I moved in with my new partner, Adrian, who lived on a farm, taking Lee with me, and this country life seemed to suit him. He helped on the farm at weekends taking care of the pigs and horse riding. He appeared to be more settled.
He would invite his friends to stay who liked getting involved with the animals as well, and Adrian taught them all how to drive the tractor – this was Lee’s favourite job!
Lee also had a girlfriend, Becky. She was pregnant with his baby and he was only 15 years old. I was angry at first as he was not going to finish his education; this was clear as he was going to be a father!
Lee hid a lot of his feelings and was never able to talk about how he felt. He was a very sensitive young man and it was obvious he was not going to cope with a huge responsibility of a child.
Lee’s son was born and he was delighted. The family accepted it and supported them both. But behind closed doors Lee’s depression returned and he began self medicating with drugs….this time using heroin.
He began using at 16 years old and he was dependant. At the time of his death he was a poly drug user.
He had detoxed on a couple of occasions. I went through this with him as the community support he was receiving at that time was less than encouraging…. Lee did not want to use drugs but it was the only thing that in his words “took away the pain”! He tried to resume a normal life but when he became depressed he used again. He could not motivate himself and he seemed to just throw in the towel.