The mother of a schoolgirl who died after taking ecstasy has branded a move to downgrade it as "disgusting".

Michelle O'Connor's daughter Trudy Williams was found dead after a party in where she had taken up to six ecstasy tablets.

Trudy, 15, had been staying at a flat in Albert Road, Bognor, in August 2006 when she downed a mixture of the pills and alcohol.

Her death is just one of a string of ecstasy deaths that have devastated families across Sussex.

But yesterday the Government's advisory body recommended the so-called "party drug", which is responsible for about 30 deaths per year, should be downgraded from Class A to Class B because it is not as dangerous as heroin or cocaine.

Mrs O'Connor said: "It is absolutely shocking that anyone is suggesting ecstasy should be downgraded.

"I heard someone from the Government say on the news that taking ecstasy was safer than riding a horse, which is just disgusting.

"The proposal is disgusting and the person who suggested it obviously hasn't had to deal with losing their child to ecstasy.

"It would be a massive step backwards and is going to put out a message that ecstasy is OK."

Recent cases of deaths from ecstasy in Sussex included Edie Pooley Bell, 19, of Shanklin Road, Brighton, who died after taking ecstasy before a Halloween party last year.

In June 2008 Kieran Lindsey, 18, took ecstasy pills at a party in Crawley and died shortly afterwards.

In May 2006 Jason Manville, 26, of Whitelot Close, Southwick, collapsed and died after taking up to 13 ecstasy tablets at a London nightclub.

He left behind a young daughter.

In the summer of 2006 Martin Hughes, 24, from Seaford, was found dead the morning after taking ecstasy.

The Government yesterday decided to reject the controversial proposals by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs.

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