Coroner calls for restrictions on the sale of helium after suicide of ‘straight-A’ schoolboy


Tragic: A coroner has called for tighter restrictions over the sale of helium after the suicide of schoolboy Grant Li

Tragic: A coroner has called for tighter restrictions over the sale of helium after the suicide of schoolboy Grant Li (pictured)

A coroner has called for tighter restrictions over the sale of helium after a straight-A student was free to buy canisters on the high street so he could kill himself.

Grant Li, 16, a pupil at Manchester Grammar School, was found dead in his bedroom by his mother having told her the gas was for an end of term party.

Grant had two GCSE exams left to sit, both in Mandarin, when he was found dead on June 1 last year. It was later confirmed he achieved nine A* grades and one A.

He had bought helium canisters from a supermarket two months earlier.

He was described by teachers as a model pupil, but had suffered from acute eczema and was under GCSE exam stress, an inquest into his death was told.

Finding his cause of death was suicide, Graham Jackson, Manchester’s deputy coroner, said he would write to Home Secretary Theresa May to call for greater regulations over the sale of ‘party pack’ helium canisters and urge changes are made to their size and control valves – a call supported by Grant’s family. There are currently no age restrictions on buying helium canisters.

He ruled it would never be known why the 16-year-old took his own life.

The inquest heard his suicide was the fifth death involving helium in Greater Manchester in four years.

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