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OUR SON 14 ON THE RUN WITH HEROIN DEALERS; PEOPLE CAMPAIGN; on drug scourge that threatens every kid in Britain.

WORRIED schoolboy Anthony Jackson warned his parents that drugs were being sold at his school - but now HE is roaming around with the drug pushers.

Dad Terry and and mum Heather have revealed their nightmare after The People last week exposed the plight of Britain's child junkies.

The couple tipped off teachers after their 14-year-old son told them about drug-dealing at school.

Heather, 31, said: "We decided his teachers should know so they could try to stamp it out. Anthony was worried he would be labelled a grass if he was identified but he was assured by teachers that he would not be named.

"The week after we informed the school Anthony started being bullied by kids selling the drugs.

"In response he tried to become one of the gang and started smoking cannabis with the other boys. Now he has been accepted into the gang, he has left home and our world has been turned upside down.

"His attitude has changed completely and he shows off by telling us he has smoked pot and taken speed (amphetamines).

"He is also familiar with Ecstasy and knows all about taking heroin."

Anthony began running away from home in Wakefield, West Yorks, and disappeared for up to nine days at a time.

His despairing parents turned to the social services who placed him with a foster parent.

But Terry and Heather say the foster home is in the area where the drug- dealing teenagers live.

They say Anthony is STILL running away and mixing with the pushers.

And when they complained to social workers they were told their other two sons and two daughters could end up on the At Risk Register - which could lead to them being put in care.

Heather said: "I feel we have had no help from anyone.

"The social services say if they put Anthony on the At Risk Register his two brothers and two sisters will automatically go on the register too.

"His father and I now live in fear that this could happen at any time and we face the risk of losing five children to the care of the State.

"Anthony's brothers and sisters are terrified they are going to be taken away and nothing we say can reassure them."

Anthony told social workers he left home for the first time three months ago because his father had hit him.

Terry, 39, a hotel manager, said: "I admit I walloped Anthony once but that was three years ago and it was because he stole pounds 50.

"I did it and hit the other two boys involved as well to teach them right from wrong.

"Now I am being punished for trying to discipline my children.

"All of this just because a young lad wanted to do the right thing about keeping drugs out of his school."

Heather said: "We appear to have lost Anthony to truancy and cannabis now.

"We can't sleep or relax. We worry constantly about where he is - whether he's alive - whether he's in trouble.

"We decided if he didn't want to live at home he could go to a voluntary foster home.

"But now he roams the streets all day, skips school and when he goes back to his foster care he is praised for returning. It is totally wrong.

"At 14 Anthony is ruling his own life which cannot be right.

"We have tried everything we can and we are being labelled as unfit parents.

"There are many parents who don't give a damn about what their children get up to but we do and all we are trying to do is the right thing for the family.

"He openly admits to smoking cannabis and says it does him no harm but everybody can see that cannabis has got him into bad company.

"Anthony has changed from being a happy-go-lucky child into somebody we don't even recognise any more.

Last night a spokesman for Wakefield social services was unavailable for comment.

The night I wanted to slit the throat of our addict lad who was driving us mad

PARENTS Malcolm and Michelle Smith decided the only way to put their heroin-addicted son David out of his misery was to kill him.

One night Malcolm, 39, held a knife to David's throat in rage and frustration while the drugged-up 16-year-old laughed in his face.

David had slipped into drugs, theft and truancy at the age of nine.

Unknown to his parents, he tried every legal and illegal drug he could find in the next six years. At 15 he discovered heroin and spent the next two years dealing and using the drug.

Last year he confessed to his parents he was a heroin addict.

Michelle, 39, said: "Malcolm and I were absolutely devastated, our jaws dropped."

As his addiction grew worse he repeatedly stole cash from his parents.

Eventually they insisted he leave home in Brighouse, West Yorks. They set him up in a bedsit but he sold the cooker and fridge and moved in with his dealers.

David discovered his girlfriend was sleeping with one of the pushers and - terrified he might have Aids - decided to return to his parents.

The dealers gave him a severe beating.

His dad said: "There was a time when he was so drugged up and I was so angry that I took a knife to his throat. It wouldn't have taken much to have made me go further. But when I saw David after the dealers had beaten him up I thought of killing him out of sheer pity."

David, now 18 and a recovering registered addict, said: "I've been incredibly lucky that Mum and Dad have stood by me."

Michelle has set up a helpline for other desperate parents of addicts on 01484 722 223.

Fear that grips the parents

THE People has been flooded with calls from alarmed parents after we revealed the plight of teenage heroin addicts Danny and Louise Williams last week.

A frightened mother in Cudworth, near Barnsley, South Yorks, told how children as young as 13 wander round the streets "like zombies".

Dealers sell drugs from a house near her own.

She said: "The kids are queuing up to buy the stuff."

Another mum, of Kirk Sandal, near Doncaster, West Yorks, told how her sons aged 16 and 17 started smoking cannabis when they were 13.

"I'd say about nine out of 10 children round here are using drugs of some sort," she said.

Christine Yardley, of Rastrick, West Yorks, has started a parent group to combat 14 evil dealers on her estate.

A woman from Shafton, South Yorks, said her life had been made a misery by addicts and dealers living next door.

An anonymous caller from Liverpool said she'd been forced to move because three families were dealing drugs in her street.

A mum with two young sons said she was terrified by dealers living opposite her on a Teesside estate.

She said: "My boys are three and four and I fear for when they grow up."

If there is a serious drug problem in your area contact The People on 0171 293 3201 (10am to 6pm).
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1998 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Beattie, Jilly
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Jan 18, 1998
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