The grieving mother of a young woman who died after taking ketamine has hit out at an eight-month prison sentence given to the man who supplied the drug.

Rachel Kaye, of Mickledore Ridge, Horton Bank Top, Bradford, died on April 17 last year after mixing drink and drugs at a party.

Her mum, Kathleen, said although 24-year-old Rachel was acting of her own free will, if the drugs had not been there her daughter would still be alive.

Christopher Pickard pleaded guilty to supplying ketamine – a hallucinogenic anaesthetic – to Miss Kaye during an impromptu party at his home on April 17 last year.

He was jailed at Bradford Crown Court yesterday by Recorder Edward Bindloss who said Pickard had “a relatively low level of culpability” in Miss Kaye’s death.

Prosecutor John Harrison said Miss Kaye called at Pickard’s home, at Halifax Road, Ambler Thorn, Queensbury, at about 1.45am after a girls’ night out.

Miss Kaye, of Mickledore Ridge, Horton Bank Top, Bradford, had been drinking heavily, the court heard.

Pickard, a window cleaner, now of Thirkleby Royd, Clayton, Bradford, had Ketamine available in his kitchen.

The drug was offered free to anyone who wanted it and Miss Kaye, who the court heard had taken it before, snorted it. At 3am, she was found slouched in a chair and an ambulance was called.

Miss Kaye was taken to Calderdale Hospital and was pronounced dead at 4.45am.

Pickard told police Miss Kaye took it of her own free will.

Medical reports concluded that the ketamine would not have been fatal without the alcohol.

Pickard’s barrister, Stephen Wood, said: “It goes without saying that this case is a tragedy.”

He added: “The law does not hold this young man criminally responsible for this young lady’s death.”

Pickard, a hard-working family man, was devastated and held himself morally responsible, Mr Wood said.

He had never been a commercial dealer and he had turned his back on all illegal drugs.

Miss Kaye’s mother said following the sentencing: “We would have preferred him to have got longer. She’d done it once or twice before, but she hadn’t eaten anything and she’d got really drunk.

“Without that mixture she wouldn’t have died. The police said it was a one in a million chance. She was a strong girl.

“Rachel did it herself but if he hadn’t made it she couldn’t have taken it. I can’t say how I feel about him – I wish he’d have got (charged with) manslaughter. At the end of the day he’s supplied something that killed her. I don’t think this will stop him.

“If the drugs are there people are going to take them. I just wish she hadn’t taken it.”

Miss Kaye, a former pupil of Queensbury School, was described by her family as a fun-loving young woman with lots of friends.

“She was a bundle of fun, she enjoyed going out,” said Mrs Kaye. “She worked hard and she didn’t do anything wrong. Everybody loved her. She was 6ft 1in and she was gorgeous.

“She’d just bought a car and she had a good job. She was enjoying her life.

“If anybody’s thinking about taking recreational drugs, don’t do it. Just go down to the morgue and see my beautiful daughter lying in a coffin.”

After the case, Detective Inspector Steve Snow, of Bradford South CID, said: “It must be known that ketamine is a dangerous drug that can have very serious consequences.

“The very sad and tragic loss of a young girl, as outlined before the courts today, demonstrates just that.

“Where there is evidence available, anyone found supplying such drugs will be prosecuted.”