A DESPERATE mother has today revealed the harrowing secret behind her son's heroin addiction.

Judith Picken has spent thousands during the last decade on the deadly drug for her son - and lost everything.

The 56-year-old admits to spending more than £300 a week buying the drug for her son Paul because she could not bear to watch him suffering the debilitating withdrawal symptoms.

"Yes I have bought him drugs and yes I still give him money to this day," said Judith, who now lives in Mirfield.

"Since he started taking heroin I have lost everything. It has not only ruined his life but mine and his dad's as well.

"People will be reading this and saying `why did you do it?' and `how can you buy your own son drugs?' but they have not been there, they could never understand what it is like.

"Those people have never watched their son shooting up."

Paul, 26, was a problem child. His mother now believes he suffered from attention deficit disorder - but at the time it was not diagnosed.

The family lived in a large detached house in Beaumont Park in Huddersfield when Paul and his brother Andrew were children. Now the family live in a council house.

Andrew, now 27, was a model pupil and has never touched drugs.

But from an early age Paul was different. He refused to go to school and by his early teens he was in trouble with the police.

"He simply would not go to school. I tried everything to get him to go but by the time he was 14 he had stopped," Judith said.

"He has always been a volatile character and he has always done exactly what he wanted. I had tried everything."

Then one day Judith had a phone call at work.

"I was told he had overdosed. I was shocked because I had no idea he was even using.

"From that moment onwards it was no secret he was injecting heroin and it got worse and worse.

"He was constantly asking for money we did not have but usually I found it for him.

"We got him on methadone. He has been through detox twice but nothing has helped him.

"I have borrowed and begged for money from everyone and anyone but it could not go on for ever."

The family were forced to move from their plush home because they could no longer afford the mortgage.

Paul spent years in bed getting up only to feed his habit.

An endless line of fellow addicts and dealers would turn up at the house until Judith could take it no more.

"We found him a flat in Newsome. I needed him out of the house before the whole family was ripped apart. He was using heroin and on methadone.

"But he got in to trouble there and was threatened so we had to take him back again. Just like before having him in the house was hell."

If Paul did not get his money he would threaten his mother with violence to get what he wanted. Once, he held her prisoner for a day before she managed to call the police.

Judith and her husband Neil decided something had to change.

"We found him a flat which again we had to pay the rent for and moved to Mirfield. We have not told him where we live to this day - I can't have him in my house any more."

Paul now lives in Guildford and is holding down a job on a building site but he is still using drugs.

"The only time I speak to him is when he wants something - usually money. I know he is still using but to be honest I am just glad he is not here any more.

"I am still working all the hours God sends to pay off the debts we have because of his heroin use.

"I had a nice house, a nice car and two beautiful babies. Now my life has been changed so much I don't think I will ever have a real relationship with my son again."

* ANYONE with drug issues can ring Lifeline Kirklees on 01484 353353 for confidential advice.