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Ecstasy death boy `had heart of gold'.

Byline: MARK SAGE

THE mother of a 15-year- old boy who collapsed and died after apparently taking ecstasy yesterday spoke of the devastating loss of her youngest son, who had a ``heart of gold''.

Ben Henessy lost consciousness minutes after arriving at his grandfather's garden near his home in St Albans,Herts, on Wednesday evening.

Earlier that afternoon he was seen on the same street with a group of other youngsters,and is thought to have taken ecstasy tablets.

Ben's mother,Shirley Bullen, said the ``close knit family'', which includes older sister Charlie, 16, and brother Lee, 19, were devastated by Ben's death.

``Ben had planned to spend the summer doing labouring work for his grand ad and he told me he was going to save up the money he earned to take me on holiday,'' she said.

``He had a heart of gold. He will always be in our thoughts and hearts.''

Police want to hear from a group of teenage girls who they believe were out with Ben and two male friends.

A pupil at Townsend Church of England School,Ben had been studying for his GCSEs.

Ms Bullen said: ``He was known to most of his friends and family as Benny Boy. As a child I used to call him Tiger and he was so proud when we put his nickname on his bicycle.

``He was such a kind and thoughtful boy, always thinking of others. At primary school he be friended a little girl who suffered from arthritis and helped her to get about in the playground.

``When we were living in London Colney, when he was about seven years old, he asked a builder if he could help.

``The man gave Ben a few odd jobs to keep him happy and at the end of the week gave him pounds 10 to say thank you.

``Ben gave half the money to a cancer charity and another pounds 2.50 to his sister, Charlie,That's just the type of boy he was.''

Ben, who was keen on weightlifting, kick boxing and darts, was taken to Hemel Hempstead General Hospital where he died on Wednesday evening.

Ben's father,Gary Henessy, who is no longer with Ben's mother, said: ``He had his whole future ahead of him. I cannot believe he has gone from our lives.''

A post-mortem examination failed to establish the reason for Ben's death and detectives are now awaiting the results of toxicology tests.

Police have arrested three boys -two aged 16 and a 17-year-old -on suspicion of supplying an illegal substance.
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Aug 2, 2003
Words:427
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