Teeneger who never showered dies

Teeneger who never showered dies

A TEENAGER who used deodorant to wash himself rather than taking showers died after inhaling the gas, an inquest heard.

Thomas Townsend, 16, “succumbed to the effects of the gas” during a freak accident on August 29 of last year.

The teenager was found collapsed on his knees in his bedroom, surrounded by 42 cans of the the spray.

His mother Sally Townsend told Folkestone Magistrates Court: “He would not take showers but would stand there with a deodorant and spray half the can on him.

“Then he would spray aftershave to cover up BO (body odour).

“He would go through a can a week. I didn’t know he had so many cans in his room but he was a big hoarder.”

Thomas had been in a foster home for five years until he moved to a children’s home in Folkestone, Kent, last February.

At first he had found it hard to settle and he had a history of self-harming by cutting himself.

However he finally settled into his new’s children home and was due to start college that September and wanted to have a career as a farrier.

The hearing at Folkestone Magistrates Court was told he expressed no intention to take his life and showed no interest in substance abuse.

Staff member Lucy Banyard found his body on the landing outside his room on the top floor of the home at about 6.30pm.

He was collapsed on his knees against the bed, leaning forward.

Paramedics were called but he could not be revived.

Pathologist Dr Kareem Aboualfa told the hearing that Thomas’s cause of death was circulation collapse caused by butane gas inhalation but there was no drink or drugs in his system.

Police who investigated examined his room and found he had hoarded a total 42 cans of products such as deodorant and hair spray, many of them empty.

Area manager for the home’s owners, Ethelbert Children’s Services in Ramsgate, Gordon Murdoch-Shaw, said that there was nothing in terms of Thomas’s background or behaviour that showed he was at risk of solvent misuse.

Recording a conclusion of accidental death, Coroner Rachel Redman or Central and South East Kent, said: “He sprayed it (deodorant) all over himself and succumbed to the effects of the gas.”


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