Family’s anguish at mum’s party death

TRAGIC Hayley Redriff
TRAGIC Hayley Redriff

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THE family of a young mum who collapsed and died after taking a ‘party drug’ say their lives have been torn apart.

Hayley Redriff took a dangerous version of ‘liquid ecstasy’ on the night she died.

Now her devastated parents have warned others against using GBL – the drug made from paint stripper which they believe killed their daughter and left four-year-old son Liam without a mother.

Lesley and Paul Merrett face a painful wait before the cause of death can be confirmed, but feel they must urgently try to make other users aware of the risks.

Mrs Merrett said she cannot bear the thought of anyone else going through the heartache they have suffered since Saturday, June 25 – when 30-year-old Hayley was found unconscious at a friend’s house.

She said desperately trying to revive her unconscious daughter was the worst moment of her life.

‘I tried to perform mouth-to-mouth when I arrived but it was too late,’ said the 49-year-old of Greenfield Crescent, Cowplain.

‘This has been completely devastating for our family, it has torn us apart.

‘Now we just want to try and stop it from happening again.

‘We have to speak out so that Hayley doesn’t end up as just another statistic on the internet, so that something good can come out of her death.’

In the aftermath of Hayley’s death, Mr and Mrs Merrett spoke to their daughter’s friends about what had happened.

They found out that Hayley – who worked as a beautician and was studying at Highbury College, in Cosham – had often used the cheap drug with friends as a way of escaping from problems in her life.

Mr Merrett said: ‘Like so many other young people she must have thought it was safe.

‘We didn’t know anything about GBL until we started doing research on the internet and found out that it is basically paint stripper.

‘I wonder how many people would take it if they knew it is used to remove rust and is incredibly dangerous.’

The former legal high’s full title is gamma-butyrolactone.

It was outlawed in 2009 after earning the nickname ‘Coma in a Bottle’ for its powerful effects.

‘So many people knew and loved her,’ said Mrs Merrett.

‘But now Hayley has been taken away from us and her son Liam has been left without a mother.

‘People don’t know the risk they are taking.

‘This drug will destroy your life and the lives of those around you.

‘Nothing can bring our daughter back – but hopefully her story can save others.’

Parents warn others against taking drug

THE tragic death of Hayley Redliff has prompted an outpouring of grief from her many friends and relatives.

Hundreds of messages of support have been left on social networking site Facebook and her parents said seeing the love for their daughter had helped them cope.

Mrs Merrett said: ‘We decided that it was so wonderful we would print out the messages on her wall, and then realised it was pages and pages long.

‘We ran out of paper and had to put more in the printer, which made me feel so happy, just to know how much people adored her.

‘And my phone has not stopped ringing with texts saying how sorry everyone is.

‘Even people I‘ve never met, who just wanted to tell me how much they miss her.’

Messages included one from Sonia Louise Gibbs who posted: ‘Sleep well my little sister Hayley, I will always love you and cherish the times we spent together’.

Claire Huntley-vince wrote: ‘R.I.P. Hayley (words can’t express the numbness that I feel at the moment) I’m so fortunate to have been in your life, shared some of the ups and downs you have had.

‘God bless you.’

Hayley’s funeral will be held at Portchester Crematorium on Wednesday at 3.30pm.