A YOUNG HAMPSHIRE teenager has been found dead after an apparent drinking binge at a university fancy dress party.

Gavin Britton, was found dead on a grass bank near a car park, hours after attending the party with fellow students.

The 18-year-old had his own website on which he posted pictures of himself drinking.

The youngster described by his former headmaster as being of "exceptional promise", had only been at the school of business and economics at Exeter University for two months.

Shocked fellow students were told of Gavin's death in an e-mail circulated by the university's head of undergraduate studies yesterday.

Police have described the death as a "terrible tragedy" but have confirmed they are not treating it as suspicious.

The teenager's parents Ian, a property developer and Susan, a former dental nurse, who also have another younger son Darren, travelled to the Devon city to formally identify their son's body.

A neighbour of the family, who live in Barton on Sea in the New Forest, said Gavin was a "charming boy".

Edward Browne added: "He was a quiet boy and was always very well behaved. His parents were immensely proud of him."

Friends were also leaving tributes to the popular teen on his own MySpace website on which he listed his hobbies as golf and supporting Saints. He describes himself as being 5ft 7in, with brown hair and brown eyes.

One of the comments he had left on the page was: "If you're not living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space."

The website also contains pictures of Gavin drinking including one in fancy dress from a wine bottle. He spelled out his name to describe his personality as "Giddy, Animated, Vivid, Impassioned, Nutty."

The youngsters body was found on a grass verge near the car park of the Exeter Pheonix Centre in Gandy Street around 8am on Tuesday. It is understood he had been at a social event organised by the university's golf society the night before his body was discovered.

He was in fancy dress, wearing a black wig, and is thought to have been out in the city with members of of the university's golf club.

One fellow student said he left the event alone and was walking back to campus when he collapsed.

His body was discovered by a member of staff from the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in the city.

A post-mortem examination to determine how Gavin died will be carried out in the next few days. Toxicology tests are expected to analyse alcohol levels in his system.

Det Sgt Leon Lazarczyk, from Exeter CID, said: "It is a terrible tragedy. Officers are having to break the news to his family and words cannot describe how difficult that is."

He added that officers were questioning other students at the university. "Inquiries are being made about his whereabouts on Monday and we need to speak to people who saw him last."

A university spokesman said: "Our sympathies go out to his family and friends. The cause of death has not been confirmed to us by police."

Alison Wride, head of undergraduate studies for the school of business and economics, paid tribute to Gavin, saying he was a "nice boy and a good student". "His attendance in classes was good and he was a nice, bright boy, although he had only been with us for eight or nine weeks. All the staff are very sad and our thoughts are with his family and friends."

Gavin was a former pupil at King Edward VI School in Southampton. Headmaster Julian Thould said: "Gavin was a boy of exceptional promise, gaining two As and a B grade at A-level."