17-year-old died after taking laughing gas, inquest hears

Norfolk Coroners Court in Norwich. Picture: Simon Parkin

Norfolk Coroners Court in Norwich. Picture: Simon Parkin - Credit: Simon Parkin

A mother has been left “heartbroken” after her teenage son died after inhaling laughing gas, an inquest heard.

An inquest at Norfolk Coroner’s Court heard how 17-year-old Patryk Borzuta, a student at Thetford Academy, was found dead in his bedroom by his mother on March 5 with a canister of nitrous oxide gas.

The hearing heard that Mariola Kedzierska had moved to the UK from Poland where her son had been born. He was discovered after she returned to the family home in Thetford after working a night shift.

In a statement she said they had dinner together before she left for work the previous evening and exchanged text messages at 10.44pm when everything had appeared normal.

She said her son was “funny and intelligent and loved by everyone who knew him” and that his death had left her “heartbroken”.

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Police who attended the scene found no evidence of a disturbance and a search of his bedroom found he had left no note.

Officers discovered a bottle of nitrous oxide gas that subsequent investigations found the teenager had ordered himself.

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His medical crusade of death was listed by the coroner as death by asphyxiation, caused by inhalation of nitrous oxide.

Nitrous, also known as laughing gas or hippy crack, is the second most popular drug in the UK according to the Global Drugs Survey, and has long been used by thrill-seeking youngsters at festivals, nightclubs and gigs.

It is illegal for the canisters to be sold for recreational purposes in the UK, but they can be bought on some websites.

Yvonne Blake, area coroner for Norfolk, said the student had been apparently healthy and had no obvious problems, and that he was doing well at school where he was studying for his A-levels.

She said investigations had found no signs of a struggle or of anyone else being involved in his death.

Recording an open verdict, she said: “I do not know and I have no evidence to tell me whether Patryk used nitrous oxide to get a high from it or whether he intended to harm himself.”

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