BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific North Midlands/East West/South-West London/South North Midlands/East West/South-West London/South
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK: England  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Sunday, 27 October, 2002, 13:54 GMT
'I chained up my crack addict daughter'
Patricia
Patricia was tortured by her daughter's addiction
Every week four or five teenagers go missing in the east London borough of Hackney because of drugs-related problems.

The London Inside Out team meets one mother whose desperate measures to keep her daughter off crack cocaine put her at odds with the law.


Look about an average 16-year-old's room and you might expect to find posters, discarded clothes and CDs.

Natalie
Natalie started using crack when she was 14

But in Natalie's room there are also four small holes - a reminder of the steel plate her mother Patricia used to chain her to the wall to keep her off crack cocaine.

Patricia was driven to the desperate measures after her daughter started dabbling in the highly addictive drug when she was 14.

Natalie started staying out all night and became aggressive.

Eventually she ran away for five weeks.

'Horrendous'

Patricia was tortured by the thought of what was happening to her daughter and when Natalie came home she was determined to stop her running away again.

"The images were just horrendous," Patricia told London's Inside Out team.

"When she turned up I was elated, but horrified.

"I was elated to see she was alive and that my child was back home, but horrified because she did not look like my child anymore.

"Her face was drawn in, she had no flesh in her cheeks, they were actually hollow and sucked in."

'Angry'

Desperate to keep her daughter off drugs, Patricia locked Natalie in her room and chained her feet to the wall.

Crack cocaine
Crack is easy to buy in many areas

She was later arrested for false imprisonment.

"It was the final straw to me to try to save my daughter from going back to the drugs or having that feeling that my daughter could end up murdered," said Patricia.

Natalie says she is now glad that her mother was prepared to go to such extremes.

She told Inside Out: "I felt angry, but I knew it was for the best.

" Even then I knew that she was doing it to help me and it has helped me in the long run."

Squats

Natalie is currently living with her sister in south London, to keep her away from Hackney's drugs scene.

But Patricia can not rest until her daughter is able to make a permanent move away from the borough.

She has even been re-tracing Natalie's footsteps, visiting Hackney's squats and crack houses, to keep track of her daughter's movements.

"As long as we remain in the borough of Hackney, there's more than a 99% chance that my daughter will go back to the drugs," said Patricia.

"I just think we need to come clean away from the area where it all started, in Hackney - it would be good to get right out of the borough."

Inside Out is on BBC One at 1930 GMT on Mondays.


Click here to go to BBC London Online
See also:

24 Jun 02 | Scotland
17 Oct 01 | UK
07 Aug 01 | UK
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more England stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more England stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes