A grieving schoolboy was comforted by Prince William yesterday as they discussed the deaths of their mothers during a charity visit in Lancashire.
Deacon Glover, 11, from Burnley, lost his mother, Grace Taylor, 28, on January 15 2021 after she was found dead by her partner following an overdose on heroin and methadone, as well as prescribed medication.
At an inquest at Accrington Town Hall in July, Coroner Richard Taylor told how Grace had been taking drugs with boyfriend Sean Hargreaves in a separate room before he found her body and was unable to rouse her.
According to the Lancashire Telegraph, Sean tried to contact Grace’s grandmother Carole and went to her house for help, before returning home and calling 999.
A toxicology report revealed Grace had potentially fatal levels of heroin in her system as well as methadone, mirtazipine, olanzapine, cocaine and amphetamine.
Grace, an amphetamine addict, was said to have lived a ‘chaotic life’ with a a record for unruly behaviour and periods spent in-and-out of prison.
Deacon has been open about his grief on social media, recently posting on Facebook a photograph of his mother and writing: ‘Not a day goes by where I don’t miss you. You’re always in my heart
During a visit to Burnley yesterday, Prince William, 39, who lost his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997, when he was 15, told Deacon ‘I know how you feel’ and ‘it gets easier.’
The royal couple spent about 15 minutes talking to the schoolboy and Carole during a visit to Church on the Street in Burnley, a centre that helps people struggling with poverty, homelessness, addiction or other problems.
Deacon Glover, 11, from Burnley, was comforted by Prince William yesterday as they discussed losing their mothers during a charity visit in Lancashire (pictured)
Deacon lost his mother, Grace Taylor, 28, on January 15 2021 after she was found dead after she overdosed on heroin and methadone, as well as prescribed medication (pictured)
Drug addict Grace had lived a chaotic life, with periods in and out of prison. It is not known if Deacon lived with her.
In 2014, a court heard that she had been banned from grandmother Carole’s home because of her conduct.
Then 21, she was arrested on a Burnley street after she was found with a large bread knife tucked up the right sleeve of her onesie after sending threatening texts to a woman in a dispute.
According to an article in the Lancashire Telegraph, she had sent messages to the woman that morning saying she was ‘going to go round and ‘bash’ her.’
Her defence argued she was ‘crying out’ for long-term supervision and assistance.
She was spared jail by Judge Beverley Lunt, who told her it was the only chance she would be given.
Grace, an amphetamine addict, was said to have lived a ‘chaotic life’ with a a record for unruly behaviour and periods spent in-and-out of prison
Instead, she received eight months in custody, suspended for two years, with 12 months supervision and a six months drugs programme. She was also charged with paying a £100 statutory surcharge.
Meanwhile in 2017, Burnley magistrates heard how Grace struck Boots security guard Anthony King, four or five times in the face when she was caught shoplifting.
According to the Burnley Express, she admitted to the theft of four gift sets worth £114 from Boots as well as items worth £26 from Wilko’s.
She also admitted to the theft of sweets to the value of £6 from B and M Bargains and chocolate worth £30 from Poundstretcher.
At the time, she was living with her partner, who was also a heroin addict, and had no income.
The solicitor told the hearing: ‘She is currently living on food parcels and the help of friends and family.’
And in 2018, Grace pleaded guilty to stealing three handbags worth £229 from TK Maxx.
She had stolen the bags to fund her heroin habit.
During an inquest into her death, Carole described Grace as ‘vivacious, caring and very loving’ (pictured with Deacon)
The Telegraph and Argus reported the defence as saying she was ‘motivated to change her ways.’
On the evening of her death, Grace had her home to go to the supermarket to buy some food but, finding the shop closed, picked up some heroin for herself and her partner Sean.
Coroner Taylor told the inquest: ‘Sean said they would usually take drugs separately, and while Grace went upstairs he stayed downstairs.
‘Later, he went up to the bedroom and found Grace sprawled across the bed. He says it was around 4am, although he couldn’t properly recall whether it was day or night.’
The mother-of-one, who was in and out of prison during various periods of her life, was found by her partner Sean Hargreaves
The coroner said Sean believed Grace was asleep, but after waking the next morning he was unable to rouse her.
There was no evidence that she intended to take her own life, and her death was recorded as a conclusion of drug related death.
Meanwhile Carole, who also met the Cambridge’s on yesterday’s visit, called her granddaughter ‘vivacious, caring and very loving.’
She said: ‘Drugs are evil…’She only started using when she was with Sean, and we just want her to rest in peace now.’
After finding her body , Sean tried to contact Grace’s grandmother Carole and went to her house for help, before returning home and calling 999 (pictured, Carole with Deacon)
Days ago, Grace’s mother Samone posted a tribute to her daughter on her Facebook page to mark one year since her death.
She wrote: ‘Grace Taylor you was given your angel wings I was devastated and you’ve left a massive hole in my life where you once fitted.
‘My life changed that day and it will never be the the same…Thinking of you my sweet girl R.I.P.
‘You will never be forgotten.’
Deacon has been open about his grief on social media, recently posting on Facebook a photograph of his mother alongside an emotional message (pictured)
William, an Aston Villa fan, chatted to the 11-year-old schoolboy about football, but the youngster, who was wearing a Burnley shirt, seemed unimpressed at first.
‘He thought it was a footballer coming here so he was gutted when he found out it was William and Kate,’ one volunteer at the centre said.
But gradually he became chattier, as William asked him about Burnley’s prospects and pointed out that his father, the Prince of Wales, had come out as a supporter of the club after directing some of his charities to work in the town.
‘I only found out a few years ago that my dad is a Burnley fan,’ he said.
He told Deacon and his great-grandmother that he hoped his own children would follow him in supporting Aston Villa. ‘I need to spread the love a bit,’ he said.
William told the grieving 11-year-old that he knew how he felt, and that the grief of losing a parent does get easier with time
William and Kate went to Burnley after seeing television reports about the work of Pastor Mick Fleming, who set up Church on the Street in 2019 to help the homeless and disadvantaged living in Burnley and surrounding areas.
Since then the project has grown and the Church, housed in a former gym, now offers refuge and a safe space for anyone struggling, including those with mental health problems.
Funded by donations, it provides a food bank, clothing bank, hot showers, laundry, a cafe, recovery groups, addiction and mental health support, access to a qualified counsellor, and a safe space for up to 200 people at any one time.
Pastor Mick, who leads church services, said he hoped the visit would help provide extra support for the people using his services.
Prince William (right) pictured with young brother Prince Harry and their mother Diana, Princess Of Wales, who died in 1997 when the boys were 15 and 12
‘They said they’d seen a BBC report on what we were doing and they’d found it very moving.
‘I’m very grateful because hopefully it will mean more people will get to know about what we are doing and more people here will get support because of their royal highnesses coming here.
‘We rely on donations and we don’t charge a penny for our services.’
FRANK is a support service that offers information about drugs, plus advice for people who use drugs. Call the FRANK helpline on 0300 123 66 00.