When news happens, text SDE and your photos or videos to 80360. Or contact us by email and phone.
Gifted student who took own life had taken legal high
8:28am Saturday 26th May 2012 in News
A GIFTED college student who took his own life may have had his mind disturbed after taking a legal high, an inquest heard.
Southampton Coroner’s Court was told that Timothy Brook was found dead in his bedroom a day after he feared he had overdosed on a drug he had bought online.
The 18-year-old from Shirley was last seen alive by his mum, Hazel on the morning of June 15 last year. When she returned home from work that afternoon, she found him lying on his bed.
A suicide note was found and his parents discovered a drug he had bought online, in powder form in his bedroom.
The drug acts as an hallucinogen when used in high doses.
His best friend Joshua Brook told police that Barton Peveril student Tim, who was half-way through his A-Levels and had a place at university, had called him the afternoon before his death, worried that he had overdosed.
But when Mr Brook arrived at Tim’s home, in Wilton Crescent, he didn’t think it was serious enough to call an ambulance and they spent the evening talking about normal things and their plans for the future.
Forensic toxicologist Dr Emanuel Abu found high doses of the drug in Tim’s blood and confirmed that high doses of it are known to cause psychosis.
But he could not determine if the high dose in Tim’s blood was due to the amount or if the readings were caused by redistribution of the drug in his body after his death. He added that the findings did not suggest that the drug was the cause of death.
The court also heard from pathologist Dr Norman Carr, who found scars on Tim’s body that were consistent with self-harming over a long period of time – something that his family had been unaware of before his death.
He concluded that the cause of death was asphyxiation.
Coroner Keith Wiseman said: “I am perfectly content to accept the evidence that his mind might have been disturbed by a drug he was apparently taking” but added that he was left in no doubt that Tim intended to take his own life.
Recording his verdict he said: “Tim took his own life while the balance of his mind was disturbed”.
In a statement read out by the coroner, Tim’s mum Hazel said: “He was a quiet, kind, humorous, conscientious, ethical, level-headed, sensible, family boy, gifted in computers with brilliant prospects ahead of him.”
After the inquest his dad Clive added: “All the family misses him terribly.”