AN opening inquest into the tragic death of Northallerton teenager Leah Heyes has been told she died because of intoxication by MDMA, also known as ecstasy.

The 15 year old, whose name at the inquest was given as Leah Elwin, but who is known as Leah Heyes, was found collapsed in the Applegarth car park in Northallerton on Saturday May 11 after emergency services were alerted by a member of the public. She died later in the James Cook University Hospital at Middlesbrough.

The inquest held at the Evolution Centre in Northallerton was given evidence of identification and told the cause of death was intoxication with MDMA. Senior Coroner Rob Turnbull adjourned the inquest to a date to be fixed.

Investigations into Leah’s death which left friends and family devastated and the town of Northallerton in a state of shock are continuing say North Yorkshire Police. Two men were detained in connection with her death in the days that followed, both were arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of class A drugs. Both, one aged 18 another aged 17 have been released pending inquiries.

Police said yesterday there have so far been no further arrests and inquiries are continuing.

After her death Leah’s mother, Kerry Roberts paid tribute to her beautiful daughter who she said was fun and bubbly and had a great sense of humour. She added: “Leah was my best friend. She was a thoughtful, beautiful girl, who was much loved. I’m absolutely heartbroken to have lost my beautiful girl. No words can describe the enormous gap she has left in our lives. She will be truly missed more than words can say. I love you always.”

Following her death police issued warnings from Public Health about the effects of MDMA which is largely known as ecstasy.

A spokesperson said it comes as a pill or powder. They added:”When it’s a powder it’s called MDMA and looks like white or grey crystals. It’s taken by dabbing it onto gums or swallowing wrapped in cigarette paper, which is sometimes called ‘bombing’.

“Ecstasy pills are usually swallowed, although some people crush and snort them. Effects include increased euphoria and energy causing high blood pressure and heart rate. The affects are very unpredictable, it’s hard to know the strength of the substance or what other drugs might be mixed with it.

“Risks include kidney and heart problems so anyone with a heart condition, blood pressure, epilepsy or asthma can have a very dangerous reaction. Other medical issues can include inability to control body temperature, increasing the chances of overheating and dehydration, and because MDMA can cause the body to release a hormone which stops it making urine, drinking too much water and fluids can also be dangerous.”

Public Health emphasise taking even a small amount either in tablet form or as a powder can lead to very serious health complications and can be fatal.

A memorial bench is to be put in the Applegarth park in tribute to Leah, and this week Northallerton Town councillors agreed to a request from friends at Youth Space to plant a pink rosebush in flowerbeds close to where she was found.