A grieving mother from Worthing has her late son’s memorabilia stolen at a charity event in Brighton

A grieving mother’s purse containing her deceased son’s belongings has been stolen at a Christmas charity event in his memory.

Billy Mullin, from Worthing, suffered a heart attack after taking MDMA on his 24th birthday. He died three days later, on November 12 last year.

He had a seizure after taking the Class A drug and was taken to hospital in Worthing before later being transferred to London for treatment with frozen plasma. He died shortly after his arrival.

Billy Mullin, of Worthing, in hospital

In memory of her son, Billy’s mother, Nicci Parish, started Billy And Beyond, a community benefit enterprise to support the mental well-being of young people through fun and educational activities.

The group had organized a children’s Christmas grotto at St George’s Church in Kemp Town, Brighton, on December 2 as part of the local nightly shopping.

Around 6 p.m., Nicci’s handbag, which had been placed among other bags and coats, was stolen.

The Argus: Nicci Parish at the Billy and Beyond event at St George's Church in Kemp Town Nicci Parish at the Billy and Beyond event at St George’s Church in Kemp Town

Along with her purse and iPad, the bag contained sentimental items, including her belt from Billy and pictures of him.

“We had worked so hard to make sure it was a great experience for the visiting kids,” Nicci said. “I’m just sorry someone stole my bag like that.

“In my bag along with the usual keys, purse etc, I had a stone from Billy’s funeral which I have carried in my bag since November 2020.

“Also, my purse contained some irreplaceable photos of my boy.”

Sussex Police have confirmed they received a report of a handbag being stolen at an event in St George’s Road, Brighton, between 5pm and 7pm and investigations are continuing.

Nicci said her bank card was used at three locations the night it was stolen – Budgens in Upper St James’s Street at 7pm, Local Star in Edward Street 11 minutes later and Convenience Corner in St James’s Street at 7.15pm.

“The bag had a red heart hanging on the outside that someone made for me when I was feeling weak,” she said. “The pieces of Billy that I carried with me comforted me when I was out.

“I just desperately want to find the contents of my bag as it was probably dumped somewhere around St George’s Church.”

The Argus: The Stolen Purse The stolen purse

The bag also contained a selection of badges from Billy’s favorite bands and a sign his friends pinned to their backs at his funeral.

“It also contained my pink rose iPad with ‘happy birthday’ engraved on the back which was a gift from my husband and boys a few years ago,” Nicci said.

She recalled how she spoke to her son just hours before the incident.

“I had timed him that day to tell him happy birthday. I will never forget that phone call. It will haunt me for the rest of my life,” she said.

“When I got to the hospital and finally got to see Billy, he was lying in a pool of his own blood.”

She remembered her eldest son as a “happy, flirtatious but never dull 24-year-old man who loved everyone he met”.

“He was a carer for adults with learning disabilities, a part-time model and an aspiring photographer – and then he wasn’t,” she said.

“The loss is immeasurable.”

The Argus: Billy Mullin, of Worthing Billy Mullin of Worthing

On November 9, 2020, Billy and his girlfriend wanted to go out and celebrate his birthday but couldn’t due to the Covid-19 lockdown.

Instead, he opted to take a few drinks mixed with MDMA, according to Nicci.

A few hours after taking the drugs, he had a seizure and his girlfriend called an ambulance.

Nicci was told her son was unlikely to survive the trip from Worthing Hospital in London for treatment.

“We were told that even with that, if he survived his organs would fail and he would have lost his fingers and toes,” she said.

Nicci said Billy had used drugs recreationally in the past, but “was not an addict”.

Anyone with information about the theft of the handbag is asked to contact the police online or by calling 101, quoting serial number 742 of 03/12.

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