Funeral of suspected drugs death Ilkley teenager Joe Preston held next week

Ilkley Gazette: Joe Preston Joe Preston

The funeral of an Ilkley teenager who died following a suspected drug overdose will be held next week.

Joe Preston, a popular 17-year-old with many friends, had been celebrating an 18th birthday on a night out in Leeds when he collapsed at a house in Bank Crest, Baildon, earlier this month.

It is thought Joe, of Wheatley Lane, Ben Rhydding, had taken an ecstasy tablet, though he was not a regular drug user. He was taken to Bradford Royal Infirmary, but died the following morning.

St Jonh’s Church in Ben Rhydding is expected to be packed for the service on Tuesday morning.

Joe’s father, Eddie Preston, previously told the Ilkley Gazette that his youngest son was well-known and liked in the area.

“He certainly had a lot of friends, more than we probably realised, and a small group of really good friends,” he said.

Mother Viv Preston said Joe’s friends were “everything to him” and that he was loyal and caring and would put them before himself.

His parents and brothers, Ollie, 19 and James, 21, have said they hope Joe’s friends and others will learn lessons from the tragedy.

The former Ilkley Grammar School pupil was studying carpentry and joinery at Craven College which he hoped would lead to a career.

Those who taught him described a dedicated student who was passionate about his course.

Following Joe’s death, on Sunday, March 9, two 18-year-olds were arrested on suspicion of supplying controlled drugs and released on bail.

A post-mortem examination could not establish the cause of death and further tests are still being carried out.

Today, Thursday, a police spokesman said enquiries were still ongoing.

An inquest into the death was opened and adjourned on Thursday, March 13.

The funeral is at 11.30am on Tuesday at St John’s Church, Bolling Road, Ben Rhydding, Ilkley.

Mr Preston said: “We have decided for all donations to go to the NSPCC, we wanted it to help young people and children in general not specifically at drug misuse.”

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