The parents of a Huddersfield University student who took his own life by inhaling helium have called for explicit videos and ‘suicide guides’ to be removed from the internet.
Luke Goodwin, 21, originally from Birkenhead, Liverpool, died after inhaling helium in his bedroom at his house in Ridge Street, Primrose Hill, Huddersfield, in January this year.
An inquest into Luke’s death at Huddersfield yesterday heard his father Brian call for tougher controls of internet sites which he said offer ‘how-to commit suicide-guides to vulnerable people’.
He told the inquest: “We know there are limits to what can be controlled on the internet.
“But there must be steps which can be taken to assist in preventing young people to take, what may be considered, an easy way out.”
He also called for tighter controls of the sale of helium canisters (there are currently no controls) and a mechanism which prevents inhalation or make the experience unpleasant.
He added: “Luke can’t be brought back but if something can possibly be done that would be a positive way forward.”
The inquest at Huddersfield Coroner’s Court yesterday heard evidence from Sarah Rayner, who lived with Luke in a shared student house.
She described discovering a note on Luke’s bedroom door on the morning of January 18 which said to call 999 and that he had taken his own life.
She said she had briefly spoken to Luke the night before and did not notice anything usual about his manner.
A post mortem confirmed the cause of death as hypoxia caused by helium inhalation.
Toxicology confirmed there was no trace of alcohol or drugs on the deceased and no physical marks on his body.
Records showed he had not raised any concerns about depression with his GP.
Coroner Ms Mary Burke concluded: “I am satisfied beyond all reasonable doubt that Luke undertook steps to end his own life.
“I conclude that Luke Jacob Goodwin killed himself.”
Ms Burke was asked by Mr Goodwin to consider writing to organisations (as permitted under coroners rule 43) raising concerns about the availability of helium suicide methods on the internet and tighter controls over the sale of helium to vulnerable people, and she said she would consider this and notify the family in due course.
She expressed the court’s sympathy adding Luke’s death was a “very tragic set of circumstances”.
Since Luke’s death his family and friends have donated more than £6,000 in donations in his memory towards charity CALMS which supports young men in crisis.
For more information on the charity go to www.thecalmzone.net/