A ‘heart of gold’ boy died of cocaine poisoning in a hostel the day after his release from prison

‘Cheeky, but adorable’ Brandon Boothroyd from Manchester was found dead in the hallway of the hostel he was staying in after being released from HMP Hindley in Wigan

Brandon Boothroyd was found dead the day after his release from prison

A young man died of the toxic effects of cocaine the day after his release from prison.

Brandon Boothroyd, 23, from Manchester, was found dead in the hallway of the hostel where he was staying last August, an inquest has heard.

His heartbroken family say the youngster is “looking forward to his future”, reports the Manchester Evening News.

Brandon had been taken to Probation Service-approved premises after being released from HMP Hindley in Wigan.

An inquest into his death at Manchester Coroners Court heard he died of the toxic effects of cocaine.

His heartbroken family say the youngster is ‘looking forward to his future’

In a moving tribute, his father Anthony Boothroyd said despite his troubles, Brandon was a loving son and his death left his whole family “broken”.

“He was a big boy. He had a heart of gold,” he said.

“He idolized his mother and his grandmother was his world.

“He was cheeky, but adorable. He could drive you crazy sometimes, but it was him.

“There was no one like him. He was unique.”

On the impact of his death, Anthony said: “It’s just devastating. We’re broken.

“He was a positive person and he felt really positive. He was looking forward to the future.

“He was always like that. I’m just disgusted because he was so full of life.

“I just think he was doomed that day. So many things stood against him.

“Life won’t be the same without him.”

In a moving tribute, Brandon’s father said ‘he idolized his mother and his grandmother was his world’


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Brandon, who suffered from ADHD as a child and attended a special school, previously worked as a laborer on construction sites, the inquest found.

He started using drugs as a teenager.

Chief Coroner Nigel Meadows said there was evidence that Brandon’s cocaine use had increased to a ‘high level’ and he had started having mental health issues as a result.

He had served “a number of custodial sentences” during his young life, we learned at the hearing.

No details of the circumstances of these were given during the hearing, except that he was released from his last time in police custody on Tuesday August 10 last year.

After his release he was taken to the Stanley Street Inn in Cheetham Hill where he was assigned a room.

It was a licensed facility – a “halfway house” – used to house people, usually licensed people, who have been released.

Brandon, from Middleton in Greater Manchester, was shown and given the key to his flat, the inquest heard. There was evidence that he was in an “agitated state”.

In the early hours, Demi Skillen – who was visiting a man also living on the block – said Brandon started knocking on the door around 3am, claiming he had lost his key.

She said Brandon had a drink with them and snorted cocaine into his hand.

Ms Skillen said they offered Brandon the sofa to sleep on, but he eventually returned to the hallway and started acting “very strangely”, lying on the floor and laughing.

She said she and her friend could still hear him making noise until around 6.30am and when it all quieted down they assumed he had fallen asleep.

A maintenance man raised the alarm after finding Brandon unresponsive around 9:30 a.m. He was pronounced dead after paramedics arrived.

An autopsy concluded that Brandon died of cocaine toxicity. The level of the drug was said to be consistent with him being alive for a “period of time” after ingesting it.

A police investigation revealed that there were no suspicious circumstances.

Mr. Meadows concluded that the death was drug-related.

He said it was irrelevant to his investigation why Brandon went to jail and how he was treated while there.

“It is clear that at some point, after about 6:30 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. when he was found, Brandon died,” he said.

“It is not possible to say exactly when.

“It’s clear that he loved his family very much and he loved them very much. And I have no doubt that they were very supportive of him.

“Unfortunately, he had only been released hours before he ingested cocaine and that was enough to cause his death.

“People can take cocaine once, die from it without having taken it before and people can take it after taking it before and still die from it.”

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Linda G. Ibarra