'I'm not going to quit smoking dope'
Monday 23 November 2009
Schoolgirl Amy Crowhurst caused outrage when she fell pregnant aged just 12.
The baby-faced mum hit the headlines when her son Alfie was born following a one-night stand with a 15-year-old boy in a youth club.
Despite the scandal, just three years later she had her second child, Destiny, after a brief fling with the same father, claiming that her contraception jab had “run out.”
But last month, Amy, now 19, once again courted controversy, when she was found guilty of growing cannabis in her three-bed house.
She told Crawley Magistrates’ Court that she needed to smoke the drug to escape the stresses of motherhood and, bizarrely, claimed that she only started growing it because she couldn’t afford to buy alcohol.
She was fined £40 and given a community service order. But, incredibly, shameless Amy exclusively tells Closer she has no plans to quit the illegal drug.
“What’s all the fuss about?” she asks, lounging on her sofa. Shockingly, Amy doesn’t see anything wrong with taking drugs while she has two young children to look after.
“It’s not like social services will take your kids off you,” she says. “It doesn’t make me a bad mum. I can still hoover or wash up after smoking a joint.
“It’s better than binge drinking. When you drink too much it makes you lose control. Weed is different. I’ve never had a bad experience.”
After giving birth to Alfie in 2003, jobless Amy, who lives on benefits, said at the time: “I know I was stupid to get pregnant, but I’m not that bothered really.”
But despite being prescribed the contraceptive injection, she conceived again with Alfie’s dad, who she’s always refused to name. She says she no longer has any contact with him and doesn’t even know where he lives.
“My children don’t miss having a father and I’m happier being a single mum,” says Amy, who sees her mum Rose, 49, regularly, but insists she does most of the childcare.
It was around the time that daughter Destiny was born in March 2006, that she tried cannabis for the first time.
“All my mates were doing it,” says Amy. “I’d have the odd puff off a mate’s joint and I liked how it chilled me out,” she says.
“I preferred it to drinking as I’m a lightweight – a couple of glasses of red wine and I’m sick everywhere, but smoking dope isn’t as harsh.”
Within two years Amy was spending up to £20 on a bag of marijuana – enough for about 10 joints – to smoke
at the weekends.
“I’d get some weed and a couple of mates would come round and we’d have some in the garden once the kids were in bed,” she says.
And Amy, who lives in Crawley, Sussex, insists that she’s still a good mum. “I get up at 7am every day
and get the kids ready for school,” she says. “I do a lot better than some mums.”
During our interview, Destiny, three, seems happy enough, but her smile reveals two decaying front teeth – no doubt a result of all the fizzy drinks Amy admits she gave her as a toddler – the young mum once said she let her children “eat and drink what they want.”
But now Amy says she’s a model mum. “After I walk Alfie to school, I cook Destiny an omelette for breakfast, do the housework and then take her to nursery,” she says.
Amy pays for her £80-a-month drug habit from the £18,750-a-year benefits she receives and insists: “It doesn’t stop me buying things for my kids.”
She says she shops carefully, hunting for special offers on food, including Alfie’s favourite chocolate cereals.
And she clearly has cash to pay for Xbox games for her six-year-old son. “Football games are his favourite,” she says. “I let him play whenever he wants to.”
Amy, who’s single but boasts she can still have casual sex whenever she wants, also says she can afford to go clubbing. “What mum isn’t entitled to go out and have fun?” she asks.
But last year Amy was cautioned for possessing cannabis after being caught with several joints by the police.
“I’d popped down the shops while the kids were at school and nursery when I was caught on one of those random stop and searches,” she explains. “They questioned me and gave me a caution. It’s not a big deal. There are worse crimes.”
Amy, who has no GCSEs, now admits having up to three joints a night and justifies her actions by claiming that she only smokes the drug while her children are asleep.
“I don’t smoke inside the house – that wouldn’t be right,” she insists. “But they get well looked after whether I’m smoking dope or not. If they needed me in the middle of the night, I’d be with it enough to cope.”
But Amy got into trouble with the law again this August after a neighbour complained to police about the smell of weed coming from her home.
When police raided Amy’s house as her children slept upstairs, they found equipment used to grow cannabis and 5.2g of the drug in her possession.
“I was watching TV when I saw the police at the window,” she says. “But I wasn’t worried. I’m not some big dealer. It was only a few joints and a small plant in my garden, which hadn’t even started fruiting.
“For a laugh, I’d planted a few seeds to see if they’d grow. You’d think I had a cannabis farm.”
Amy admitted three charges of producing and possessing the class B drug and was given a nine-month community order and told to pay £40 costs.
Yet despite getting a criminal record and enrolling on a drug rehabilitation course, Amy, who pays just £70 towards her £800-a-month rent, says she has no plans to quit smoking dope.
“I’m not sure what my sentence actually means, but I think I have to stay out of trouble,” she says.
“I don’t know what would happen if I got caught again, but I’m not worried.
“No one’s going to make me stop if I don’t want to,” she adds. “Everyone needs to let their hair down.”
By Victoria Raymond