Castlecaulfield woman denies ‘holding the key’ to tragic death of friend

Chelsae Kelly
Chelsae Kelly

A Castlecaulfield woman has denied knowing the identity of the dealer who supplied the killer drug which lead to the death of Alice Devlin last year.

The 18-year-old died after taking an Ecstasy type tablet at a house party - the same type of pill has been linked to 19 other deaths around the province.

At the inquest into her death, police claimed that her friend, Chelsae Kelly held the key to jailing the dealer.

The 19-year-old catering student has been accused of failing to pass vital information to cops investigating Alice’s death despite pleas from the teen’s heartbroken Dungannon family.

However, in an interview after the inquest, Chelsae insisted she did not know who supplied the ‘speckled cherry’ tabs on the tragic night her friend died.

Detective Constable Nicola Kerton also said Chelsae had removed a SIM card from her phone, later seized by police, which they believe identified the death dealer.

The dealer is said to be “linked” to a bigger chain of suppliers throughout Northern Ireland.

On Tuesday, DC Kerton called into question a statement made by Miss Kelly to the court, and said so far she had NOT co-operated with police.

“Police were given a lot of information and a lot of lies were told at the time.

“Chelsae’s phone was seized but it had been broken and the SIM card was removed. Despite this we managed to obtain some information but it wasn’t enough.”

The detective constable said that forensic officers were still able to obtain vital information from the mobile — including the identity of the suspected death dealer.

“Unfortunately when it comes to drugs, people will not speak up, even when someone has died,” she said.

DC Kerton said that a file had been sent to the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) to prosecute the alleged death dealer.

But a decision was taken not to proceed with the case because of insufficient evidence of a “direct link” to Alice’s death.

The officer told the inquest: “In my opinion Chelsae knows exactly who supplied the drug.”

However, Ms Kelly has denied the accusation and branded the police claims as ‘annoying’.

“No, I know who was meant to and that’s who they are trying to blame, but that person actually wasn’t there that night. They tried to take him to court for it, but I’m not going blame someone on something they didn’t do,” said Chelsae.

“For everybody just to believe the rest of the people over me when they weren’t even there that night, I was there in the last minutes of Alice’s life, it’s just very annoying.

“I just left (the inquest), I wanted nothing to do with it. I’m just sick of the whole thing.”

The student also claimed that the missing SIM card from her mobile phone “probably fell” between floorboards as Alice died.

On Tuesday, Northern Ireland’s most senior coroner John Leckey, said those responsible for Alice’s tragic death should face charges of manslaughter, adding that anyone taking the deadly pills was playing Russian roulette with their life.

Alice was found unresponsive by paramedics in the early hours of August 10 last year.

She had been taking ecstasy and meth with pals at her home while her parents were away at their caravan in Newcastle.