AUSTRALIA – A young man has wept in a Melbourne court after pleading guilty to supplying GHB to a 13-year-old girl who died of an overdose after taking the drug.

Alesha Fernando became unresponsive and later died in hospital in June 2017 after taking the party drug, which had been supplied to her in a suburban apartment by Luke Delphin.

Delphin today pleaded guilty to supplying an illicit drug to a child, car theft and other charges in the County Court, which was filled with Alesha’s family members.

Alesha had only met Delphin, 20, that night when he and a mate picked up the young girl and her 15-year-old friend in a stolen car.

They headed to Delphin’s Dandenong apartment where they smoked cannabis and ingested liquid GHB using a small plunger. But Alesha, who Delphin believed was 17, had far more than anyone else “Luke Delphin kept asking Alesha if she wanted more GHB and she willingly accepted the offers,” prosecutor Daryl Brown told a pre-sentence hearing today.

Delphin told Alesha she was “hot” and he wanted to sleep with her before the two fell asleep on a mattress on the floor, Mr Brown said.

But the girl never woke. Early the next morning one of Alesha’s friends arrived at the apartment, having seen Snapchat images of the drug party.

“She noticed that Alesha was pale and her lips were blue,” Mr Brown said. Alesha was rushed to Monash hospital but could not be saved. Her mother Katrina Gavan, on her 34th birthday, watched as her only child’s life support was switched off.

“So much of my life was always for her. It was just us two,” Ms Gavan said in a statement to court, read by Alesha’s aunt.

“I’m broken. I will never recover. My soulmate is gone.” Delphin broke down in tears several times in the dock as Alesha’s relatives read their emotional statements. His lawyer Crystle Beissmann said the death of Alesha had deeply affected Delphin, who has suffered nightmares since the event and had a tough and disadvantaged upbringing.

“He didn’t mean for her to die,” Ms Beissmann told the judge. Delphin is due to be sentenced on October 17.



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