Her youngest son has been mixed up with crack dealers since he was 12, his older brother, who is still just 15, deals drugs. Distraught mum Linda tells her heartbreaking story to RICHARD DOWN.
“I’ve been through major depression over this and I was nearly suicidal,” Linda’s fingers are shaking as she unburdens herself.
“If they don’t get help soon, they will die – I’ve been told that. I’ve been crying out for help for so long now.”
Her long-term partner Clifton comforts her on the sofa in the living room of their respectable semi-detached home in Newton.
He has taken her three children under his wing and has even found work for one with his employers at a garage repair shop in Chester.
In the kitchen are the other two children aged 13 and 15, who Linda and Clifton say smoke crack and shoplift.
The older child suffers from Asperger’s syndrome and Linda believes they are dealing small amounts of drugs at Newry park to finance their own habits.
Clifton says: “We want psychological help for them. Everyone says they will help but nothing has materialised.”
Linda left a traumatic past in Kent behind by moving to North Wales where she was later joined by the two young boys. But they were “messed up” and soon ran out of all parental control.
But Clifton adds: “The lads haven’t been given a fair chance in life and so they’ve just followed the wrong crowd.
“We got to the stage where we had to get them out of the area to try to turn them around.”
They moved to Newton in September but soon found the boys throwing up and losing weight.
Linda said: “The older one was boasting about it (smoking crack) on the phone to his girlfriend.”
About 50 DVDs went missing from the living room and then Linda found her X-Box games console had been stolen.
The boys left a mobile phone lying around with the bluetooth function enabled and the desperate parents transferred a picture of their son smoking a bong.
Linda goes on: “We showed it to the police but the officer said they couldn’t do anything because no offence has been committed.
“These are minors, surely to God some offence is being committed – there are grown men in the picture too.”
Linda says informing the police makes her “feel terrible”.
“But they’re dealing on Newry Park, we know that.”
Social Services and police have met the family but no schooling or permanent solution has been found. Chester’s Youth Offending team is involved now the youngest child has admitted shoplifting on the orders of a city-based dealer.
The family has only been in Chester for a short time but Linda and Clifton feel let down.
Their children need help – and the couple has identified centres that could accommodate the youngsters – but as the weeks pass the pair fear for the teenagers’ future.