Exams celebration boy died from ecstasy overdose

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A 17-year-old boy died from an ecstasy overdose after taking the drug with a group of school friends to celebrate completing their exams, an inquest has heard.

Toby Fairclough became unconscious on playing fields in North Marston, Buckinghamshire, on the evening of May 22.

He was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

One of his friends told police that Toby had bought one gram of ecstasy for him and his friends.

Richard Hulett, senior coroner for Buckinghamshire, recorded a conclusion of death by misadventure.

Addressing the boy's mother, who attended the inquest at Buckinghamshire Coroner's Court in Beaconsfield, he said: "I'm sorry to say - it's quite rare in this court - (this is) the wasted life of another young person.

"I'm sure you appreciate that to a far greater level than I do."

Detective Sergeant Simon Johnson told the inquest that Toby and his friends had gathered at one of their homes on High Street, North Marston, before going to the playing fields 200 metres away.

He agreed with the coroner's statement that "there was a joint venture to get hold of some ecstasy" and the property was chosen because "there would be no adults present".

Mr Johnson said one of Toby's friends recalled seeing him taking the drug.

"One of the party, whilst inside the property, had seen Toby swallow some white powder and also had some of that powder in a drink.

"Toby told him the powder which he had in his pocket was MDMA," he said.

The friend also told detectives that Toby had said he "bought a gram of it".

Mr Johnson went on: "There had been end-of-year exams and a group of teenage friends had arranged to meet at that location that evening."

The officer said that when the group had moved on to the playing fields, Toby was seen jumping, running around and speaking quickly.

"It was noticed later Toby was laying on the grass and appeared to be hallucinating, talking to someone who wasn't there," he explained.

"He then became unresponsive and began to snore loudly while laying on his back."

The group later noticed that Toby's breathing had become "very slow".

An ambulance was called at 12.30am and his friends carried out CPR until paramedics arrived at 12.45am.

Toby was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead at 1.45am.

The coroner said: "My impression of this is that this was an accident, or misadventure.

"The outcome was entirely unintended, it went wrong for Toby."

He added: "Every now and then a youngster pays a terrible price."

Mr Hulett added that Toby, who was born in Sydney, Australia, did not bear the "worst or the least" responsibility among the group for obtaining ecstasy.

There was "no one ring leader", he added.

Mr Johnson said there are no criminal proceedings in relation to Toby's death.