A WOMAN whose two children drowned in the bath 15 years ago has been shamed in court after admitting being part of a heroin supply ring.
Lyn Brownsea stored the Class A drug at her Hampshire home and received a personal supply of the deadly drug as payment.
The court heard the 36-year-old had begun using heroin following the tragic deaths of her two daughters.
Brownsea, then 21, slipped and knocked herself unconscious while supervising her two children, three-year-old Natasha Russell and 18-month-old Abigail Brownsea.
When she came around, she found the girls unconscious in the bathwater. She ran screaming into the street but passers-by were unable to revive the girls.
Robert Grey, defending Brownsea, told Winchester Crown Court: “She’s a Class A drug user because of that tragedy and she’s motivated to come off drugs. She knows she cannot spend the rest of her life on drugs.”
He described she had descended slowly into drug use since the tragic accident on June 22, 1999, in her flat in Alresford.
The court was told how Brownsea and her partner, Adrian Twining, 49, had allowed their home to be used by two Londoners as a base to deal heroin in December last year as part of a drugs syndicate known as “Diesel”.
In turn they were paid with their own supply of the drug.
Sentencing Brownsea, Judge Jane Miller QC called her “a sad person”.
She added: “I have read of the tragic event in your life and it was that that caused you to go into drug use.
“But you and your partner allowed your house for drug supply. Of course it was the only way you could get the drugs but that's no excuse.”
Brownsea, from Tewkesbury Close, Popley, in Basingstoke, was handed a 15-month jail term, suspended for two years, for allowing her house to be used in the supply of drugs, and for supply of heroin, two offences she had admitted at a previous hearing.
Twining, who had pleaded guilty to allowing his home to be used in the supply of drugs, received a 24-week jail term, also suspended for two years.
As the Daily Echo reported 15 years ago, Brownsea was interviewed by police following the deaths of her children but never faced any criminal proceedings.
An inquest into the deaths of Abigail and Natasha recorded accidental death verdicts on both youngsters.
Brownsea told the inquest: “I think I slipped on the floor and hit my head on the edge of the bath. Abigail might have slipped and Natasha tried to help her or she had tried to get out. I don’t know.”
Natasha was declared dead at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester. Abigail was taken to the intensive care unit at Southampton General Hospital but died the following day with her parents at her bedside.
The death shocked the market town of Alresford. One neighbour said at the time: “They were lovely children and they would look out of the window and wave at you.”