A barrister who acted for a string of celebrity clients has escaped jail after admitting to supplying the drugs that killed his teenage boyfriend during a chemsex orgy. Henry Hendron, 35, who practised at Strand Chambers, bought £1,000 worth of designer drugs from a BBC producer to sell on to revellers at a sex party at his luxury London flat.
The drugs, which included mephedrone, also known as meow meow, killed Hendron's 18-year-old boyfriend Miguel Jimenez. The Colombian's body was found by the distraught lawyer after the all-night party in January 2015.
Police found mephedrone and the drug GBL at the flat in the Temple, a collection of chambers where Britain's top lawyers and judges are based.
Hendron, a rising star in the UK legal profession and who was once tipped to lead the Tory party, had pleaded guilty to two charges of possessing drugs with intent to supply on 23 March. He escaped prison following his sentencing on Monday (9 May) and was instead ordered to carry out 140 hours of unpaid work.
In an interview with CNN, he spoke about the chemsex lifestyle that took over his weekends.
The phenomena, in which participants have drug-fueled sex with multiple partners for sometimes days on end, has been spreading through the gay community in recent years. It has been identified as a major health hazard by the NHS and the British Medical Association (BMA).
Hendron said: "I was successful, earning hundreds of thousands of pounds a year. I was working long, long days. Then I started to take drugs and things kind of got out of hand."
He continued: "In the London gay chemsex scene a lot of the people that do that, they're doctors, they're professionals, they're lawyers. Time passes, you can forget about all the worries you have during the week.
"At the time, it was quite fun. You were around other guys. You think you're having a good time, you think you're having good sex – it's certainly different. You become used to it. And that becomes all that you know – sex on drugs at the weekend. The allure is short term. You keep doing it and doing it, looking for that next high."
Despite being at the young age of 35, Hendron's celebrity clients included the MP Nadine Dorries, the Earl of Cardigan and 2010 winner of The Apprentice Stella English. He addressed the 1998 Conservative Party conference as a 17-year-old schoolboy calling for the re-introduction of corporal punishment.
He said Jimenez's mother and his brother, also a lawyer, had been a source of strength during the ordeal.
Judge Richard Marks QC told him during Monday's sentencing: "I bear in mind the anguish you feel over the death of your partner and the very moving letter from his mother in which far from wanting you to be punished she stands by you."
Former BBC producer Alexander Parkin, 41, who sold Hendron the drugs, was sentenced to a community order with 200 hours unpaid work during the same hearing.