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19 February 2014, 18:10
An 18-year-old man has today been sentenced to three years imprisonment after his friend was found dead in a car in Frisby-on-the-Wreake.
Jack Buckley, 18, from Swan Close, Melton was charged with manslaughter following the death of 18-year-old Ryan Morrell in the early hours of Sunday, July 7 2013.
He pleaded guilty to the charge at a hearing in January.
On Saturday, July 6, 2013 four friends travelled to the annual Fristock music festival in Frisby-on-the-Wreake. The group entered the festival by climbing through a hedge and over a fence in order to avoid having to pay. At some point before midnight Ryan Morrell returned to his car in Washstones Lane, where he is thought to have gone to sleep on the back seat. Buckley smashed the window of the car that Ryan was asleep in to remove a quantity of drugs. It was a short time later that he set fire to the car.
The fire service attended to extinguish the fire and the body of Ryan Morrell was found on the back seat of the vehicle.
Detective Superintendent Matt Hewson, who led the investigation said: "The evening started as a group of friends out together having fun, but had a devastating ending.
"Buckley's actions were undoubtedly influenced that night by drink and drugs. It is a stark warning to anyone that is involved within the taking of alcohol and drugs that you can very easily find yourself in a downward spiral of criminality.
"The consequences in this horrific incident are that a person has lost his life.
"Two families have been torn apart by the events that night - not just the family of Ryan Morrell, who have to face life without him, but also the family of Buckley, who at the age of 18 will spend the next few years of his life in prison."