A young Crumpsall mum who vowed to get her life back on track after her face was ravaged by the effects of taking a party drug is facing jail after she admitting carrying out a drunken knife attack.
Mikaila Tyhurst, 27, had once been an attractive blonde with clear skin, good teeth and a career plan to become an air hostess at the age of 18.
But after becoming hooked on the former legal high GBL, she suffered severe liver damage – and ended up on life support a staggering 15 times.
During her addiction, her skin became blotchy and covered in spots, her eyes grew puffy and her hair turned a mousey shade of brown.
Meanwhile, her front teeth were knocked out when she fell over during one drug-fuelled night.
Last March, Tyhurst claimed she had been off the drug for two years – and was determined to turn her life around and help others for the sake of her young daughter.
She had been on a detox programme and was hoping to undergo a liver transplant.
But on Monday at Burnley Crown Court, she was warned she faced imprisonment after she and two men burst into a house and threatened a man with a blade during a raid in which a flat-screen TV, laptop, mobile phone and wallet were stolen.
She pleaded guilty to assault causing actual bodily harm, theft and having an article with a blade or point after her not guilty plea to robbery was accepted.
Prosecutor Adam Lodge said: ”The Crown accept the defendant’s prime motivation was to use violence, rather than using violence in order to steal and the theft was an afterthought.”
William Staunton, Tyhurst’s barrister, said at the time of the offences in February 2013 she had been ‘inebriated’ and she was now in a hostel where drink was not permitted.
Tyhurst was bailed until October 24 for a pre-sentence report but was warned by Judge Simon Newell: “Do not read into that that there will be a non-custodial sentence. All sentences will be at large, including custody.”
An accomplice Shaun Andrews, 28, of Burnley, admitted robbery and was remanded in custody for reports to be prepared.
BEFORE: Mikaila Tyhurst’s life was torn apart by legal high GBL (©Facebook with thanks)
Tyhurst, a former pupil of Habergham High School in Burnley, initially made the headlines in 2009, when her mother told of her horror of watching her daughter being ravaged by the effects of GBL – a component of some paint strippers, nail varnish removers and superglue solvents.
The drug gives users a feeling of euphoria, but can also reduce their inhibitions. The drug was made illegal by the Government in December 2009, but is still possible to obtain online as a cheap industrial cleaner.
Over a four-year period, Tyhurst was taken to hospital nearly 1,000 times – and was close to death on 15 occasions.
She only stopped taking the drug after doctors warned her that, if she didn’t, she was likely to die.
In her interview with a magazine last March, Tyhurst said her 18-month-old daughter was taken away from her at the height of her drug abuse and said: “I am ashamed to admit I loved GBL more than her. I will never forgive myself for letting drugs come between me and my daughter.
“I missed the most precious years of her life, but I am determined to make it up to her.
“I was put on a life-support machine 15 times and I lost my front teeth after falling onto a pavement while on GBL. Doctors told me that if I did GBL or drank alcohol again, I would be dead. It was a real wake-up call.
“No one had ever told me I could die from it. I could not believe I had let it get this far.”
Because of her addiction, Tyhurst’s life expectancy had been reduced by at least ten years – and she admitted she looked far older than other women in their twenties.
She said her liver was currently operating at a level of just 11% – meaning she will need a transplant in the future.
But Tyhurst believed she had been given a ‘second chance’ after being placed on a detox programme and given medication to flush out toxins from her liver.
“I have turned my life around, but now I need a new liver and there is no guarantee I will get one,” said Tyhurst, who said she was hoping for a career as a drug and alcohol counsellor.
Figures reveal more than 50 people die every year after taking legal highs.
Story via Cavendish Press
Image courtesy of Facebook with thanks