Eleven-year-old girl died after sniffing aerosol gas, inquest rules

Teesside Magistrates Court where the coroner heard the inquest

Teesside Magistrates Court where the coroner heard the inquest

First published in News
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Darlington and Stockton Times: Photograph of the Author by

A MOTHER found her 11-year-old daughter unconscious on her bed after she had been sniffing an aerosol can, an inquest heard.

Sharon Gage told how when she discovered Kayleigh her arms were moving and her eyes were rolling to the back of her head on October 28 last year, her 37th birthday.

The devastated mother said she immediately called for an ambulance when she saw her daughter's condition.

The mother-of-four, who lived on Lanehouse Road, Thornaby, told the hearing that her daughter had not intended to kill herself but had been experimenting with aerosol.

"I believe Kayleigh may have sniffed the aerosol can," she said. "I don't think she had ever done it before and told the ambulance crew what I thought Kayleigh may have done.

"I'm absolutely devastated about losing my daughter - it has turned my life upside down."

When asked whether it was correct that Kayleigh had never tried sniffing aerosol before, her mother said: "A couple of years earlier she had tried it, I took the deodorant off her and I don't think she had tried it again."

The former Oaktree Primary School pupil was on half term break during her her first year at Stockton's Bishopgarth School when she died, the court heard.

Temporary senior coroner for Teesside Clare Bailey asked whether Miss Gage thought that peer pressure played any part in Kayleigh's decision to sniff aerosols.

She replied: "I think it was something she had just done by herself."

A statement by Miss Gage's neighbour and friend Julie Smith, was read out by the coroner's officer.

She said she had gone to help Miss Gage and saw the unconscious youngster on her mother's bed where she was barely breathing.

Paramedic Donna Mawson told the hearing that Kayleigh was showing no signs of life when she arrived but there was a sickly, pungent smell coming from her mouth.

Pathologist Mark Egan said that the cause of death was consistent with butane or isobutane toxicity.

A report from Cleveland Police ruled out any suspicious circumstances surrounding the youngster's death.

Recording a verdict of misadventure the coroner said: "I don't believe she intended to cause her death and don't think she intended that when she inhaled those fumes. I therefore record a ruling of misadventure."

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