Penryn teenager Nathan Dunstan died after inhaling gas from deodorant cans

A teenager has died after inhaling gases from spray cans, his investigation has learned.

The inquest into the death of Nathan Daniel Thomas Dunstan took place today at Cornwall Coroner’s Court.

Nathan, 15, was found dead at his home in Penryn on the morning of Thursday, October 31, 2019.

More stories for Cornwall: Severe four-vehicle crash on the A30 in Cornwall

Nathan had been in foster care since birth and was adopted by Larretta and Robert Dunstan when he was around 14 months old.

The hearing heard that Nathan had a history of self-harm and behavioral issues.

Ms Dunstan said Nathan attended school at Penryn College on October 30, the day before he died.

She said he spent most of the evening in his room.

His parents said Nathan woke them up around 1:10 a.m. after hearing noises coming from his bedroom.

They entered his room, where he was lying on his back in his bed and seemed to be having a nightmare.

Ms Dunstan said he appeared to be in a “deep sleep”. She explained, “Nathan has had nightmares in the past and we knew he was a heavy sleeper, so we weren’t duly worried at the time.”

There are a range of local and national organizations that can provide emotional support over the phone or the Internet.

24/7 NHS Mental Health Line

For support and advice. Call free any time of the day or night if you are concerned about your mental health or that of someone else. The team behind the 24/7 answering line will listen to you and determine the best way to help you. t: 0800 038 5300 (free) 24 hours a day


Emotional support to anyone in emotional distress, struggling to cope or at risk of suicide. Phone. : 116 123 24 hours a day e: [email protected]

Southwest perspective

Offer online support and NHS talk therapy – call 01208 871905 for people aged 16 and over. The suicide liaison service is also available via this number. It is also a service funded by the NHS, but aimed at adults aged 18 and over bereaved by suicide.

A man of the sea

Supporting men’s mental health in Cornwall –

‘We are with you’

For help with alcohol, drugs, or mental health, call 01872 263001 or visit

Child line

Free, private and confidential service for anyone under 19 where you can talk about anything. No matter how worried you are, whenever you need help, anytime. t: 0800 1111 email or chat via


24/7 SMS service, free on all major mobile networks, to anyone in crisis anytime, anywhere. It’s a place to go if you’re struggling to cope and need immediate help. Text: 85258

CALM campaign against miserable life

For men who are depressed or need to talk, find information and support. t: 0800 58 58 58 5 p.m. – midnight every day or chat on

Safer future

Call 0300 777 4777 or visit if you or someone else is affected by domestic violence, sexual violence and those exhibiting abusive behavior.

Valued lives

Supports people experiencing mental or emotional distress in Cornwall. t: 0800 260 6759 24/7 crisis line

Papyrus Hopeline United Kingdom

For people under 35 who are having thoughts of suicide, or anyone who fears a young person may be thinking about suicide. t: 0800 068 4141 e: [email protected]

However, in the morning around 7:30 am, Mr. Dunstan returned to his son’s room to wake him up for school.

But when he found it, he was dead.

Coroner Andrew Cox said Nathan died from inhaling volatile gases, especially butane and propane.

He said: “An investigation revealed the presence of a large number of spray cans in his room with a sock containing white powder.”

He said the sock appears to have been used as a filter through which Nathan inhaled the various gases.

Mr Cox said police evidence did not reveal any third party involvement or suspicious circumstances.

He said Nathan died of his own actions.

In her testimony, Ms Dunstan said that she originally “didn’t think a thing” of the large number of aerosols in her room.

But, said: “That night after we got home [following Nathan’s death] I had time to think it over and remembered Nathan asking me to buy him four cans of deodorant the day before he died. “

She said she walked into his room and found ten empty cans, mostly deodorant body sprays, and they were all empty, meaning he used the four she bought him minus. 24 hours ago.

She said they knew Nathan smoked and drank alcohol on occasion, but didn’t know he was on drugs and now believed he had abused aerosols.

But Mr Cox ruled out the possibility of suicide, adding that there was no evidence to support that conclusion.

He said: “What happened here is that Nathan has had a habit for some time, unknown to his parents, of abusing aerosols, whether it is to have a short shot or to to put his feelings, insecurities or to help him sleep or a combination of those, I’m not sure. “

Nathan once texted another teenager, who said, “If I die, I’m sorry.

She asked him what he meant, but there was no response. The witness said she knew he was using spray cans to get high.

She explained that he was struggling with his emotions and that he would try to find a way to “make them go away”.

She also said he had trouble falling asleep and was thinking too much, so he inhaled aerosols to help her.

Mr Cox said: “I have no doubts that the death was due to the intentional use of deodorants to get high, but I don’t think Nathan intended to kill himself.

“So this was an unintended or unexpected result. The question then remains as to what is the appropriate conclusion to record.

“I think the best conclusion to come back here is that the death resulted from the consequences of an accident, so Nathan deliberately or intentionally used the deodorant to get high, but he did not indicate that it would take the turn that would result in his death.

“So I will make a conclusion on an accidental death and that will bring us to the end of the formal investigation process.”

Mr Cox asked investigator DS Schofield to convey his condolences to the family.

After Nathan’s death was announced, a spokesperson for Penryn College said the teenager was a valued member of the school community.

The school spokesperson said: “On the morning of Thursday, October 31, we learned of the sudden death of one of our students.

“We are deeply shocked and saddened by this news.

“The individual was a valued member of our school community and will be sadly missed by staff and his peers.

“Our thoughts are with the individual’s family and friends during this difficult time.”

More stories for Cornwall:

Call 999 if you see a wanted man with Cornwall connections

Only two parts of mainland Cornwall are free from Covid cluster

Previous The presence in the thoracic catheter market of the main industry players is - Smiths Medical, Medtronic, Atrium, Teleflex - 2 × 6 Sports
Next COVID kills 19th on peninsula: woman from Clallam in her thirties

No Comment

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.