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Thursday, 7 March, 2002, 17:58 GMT
Death warning over solvent abuse
Lighter fuel
Shaun Leinster experimented with butane only once
The family of a teenager who died after sniffing lighter fuel plans to start a national solvent-abuse campaign.

The announcement came after a coroner issued a warning over substance misuse, following the death of 17-year-old Shaun Leinster.

He collapsed at his home in Earnley Road, Hayling Island, Hampshire.

Kids know it will give them a high, but they do not realise it will kill them

Stephanie Leinster, mother
A can of lighter fuel was found next to him and a post-mortem examination revealed he had died of the toxic effects of inhaling butane, Portsmouth Coroner's Court heard on Thursday..

The labourer was found by his elder brother Peter, who tried in vain with his father Shaun to resuscitate the teenager.

His mother Stephanie, 41, said after the inquest: "Our ultimate aim is to get a national campaign going to raise awareness of labelling of tins of everything from boot polish to deodorants.

"Kids know it will give them a high and it will leave their system quickly but they do not realise it will kill them."

South East Hampshire coroner James Kenroy recorded a verdict of accidental death.

'Clear warning'

He said Shaun had apparently only experimented with butane on one occasion and had no intention of killing himself when he died on 9 January.

"The warning from Shaun's death is all too clear.

"Abuse of solvents endangers life and brings great sadness and grief to the parents and families.

"If anything good is to come out of this inquest it has to be this.

"If there is a wider appreciation of the dangers of solvent abuse and, as a result, others are dissuaded from risking their lives in this way then Shaun's parents and family can indeed feel their wish will have been granted and their son would not have been allowed to die in vain," said the coroner.

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