‘I made a horrifying discovery about my teenage son when I checked his old mobile phone’

Posted June 6, 2023 by: Admin #News

In a heartwarming turn of events, a mother’s vigilance led to the dismantling of a drug dealing operation and the rescue of her teenage son from a dangerous path. This tale of resilience and justice unfolded when the concerned mother stumbled upon a series of incriminating text messages on her son’s old phone.


Carl Ashall, 33, and Neil Swift, 42, had exploited the vulnerability of the young boy, pressuring him into selling drugs and managing their illicit communication lines. Fearing the repercussions of crossing paths with these menacing individuals, the teenager reluctantly engaged in their nefarious activities.

However, fate intervened when the mother discovered the text exchanges between her son and the two defendants. Revealing a pattern of drug dealing spanning several months, these messages exposed the duo’s manipulative exploitation of the boy’s innocence.


In a display of unwavering commitment to justice, the court delivered its verdict on Monday at Liverpool Crown Court. Carl Ashall received a sentence of five years, while Neil Swift was handed a three-year sentence. Furthermore, the judge imposed restraining orders on both individuals, barring them from contacting the young boy for the next three years.

During the proceedings, Judge Neil Flewitt KC empathetically acknowledged the reasons that had driven the defendants to embark on this illicit enterprise. He recognized that addiction had clouded their judgment, but also acknowledged their potential for leading constructive and contributive lives when freed from its grip.


The courtroom was filled with mixed emotions as Ashall waved to his family in the public gallery before being led away to the cells. The compassionately delivered sentence aimed to ensure the safety of the community and offer an opportunity for rehabilitation.

Prosecutor Sarah Griffin recounted how the youngster had unwittingly entered this dark world when Swift instructed him to deliver an unknown package in a St Helens car park. While initially unaware of the contents, the boy’s intuition signaled that something was awry when he received £50 in cash as compensation. The following day, Swift presented him with the option of dealing drugs for him and Ashall, exploiting the young boy’s vulnerability and uncertainty.


As events unfolded, the teenager found himself burdened with the responsibility of safeguarding their drug-dealing phone on occasion. At one point, despite expressing his desire to distance himself from the operation, Swift convinced him to persist by assuring him that his involvement would be short-lived.

The boy, although uncharged with any criminal offense, expressed his profound distress in a statement read aloud in court. The traumatizing experience had shattered his trust in others, leaving him apprehensive about the future, particularly if Swift and Ashall were to be released from prison. He feared their potential retribution and harm.

Swift, a university graduate, had his life derailed by personal tragedy and subsequent addiction. His defense attorney, Kate Morley, highlighted the impact of his parents’ passing and his subsequent heavy cocaine usage. Struggling to comprehend the choices that had led him down this path, Swift’s involvement in drug dealing stemmed from a desperate need to belong and find solace within a world he had no inherent need to be a part of. He acknowledged the life-altering consequences of his actions and vowed to prove his redemption.

Ashall, a father of two, succumbed to a deep depression exacerbated by the loss of his father and unemployment during the COVID-19 pandemic. His defense counsel, Rebecca Smith, described how he sought refuge in zopiclone addiction, isolating himself from society. Ashall’s involvement in the drug trade emerged as a means of survival, albeit a misguided one. Today, he claims to be clean of his addiction, with his family believing that his time behind bars may have saved his life.



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