'Lovely, funny, and popular' teenager died after taking drugs in Leeds nightclub

A “lovely, funny and popular” teenager died after taking MDMA and cocaine at a nightclub in Leeds, an inquest heard.

Tuesday, 5th November 2019, 6:00 am

The family of 18-year-old Sebastian Costello said he had paid the “ultimate price” after collapsing in the Church Leeds nightclub shortly before 6am on Saturday, May 25.

Wakefield Coroner’s Court heard that Sebastian, an apprentice trainee tax assessor at HMRC from Burley, travelled from Manchester Victoria station to Leeds with a group of friends.

They arrived at the Woodhouse Lane nightclub at 11.30pm for the Back to Basics event, where they planned to see DJ Carl Cox.

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Sebastian Costello died after collapsing in the Church nightclub in Leeds. Photo provided by his family.

It was the last scheduled event before the club's closure.

In a statement read to the court, friend Dan Gidley said the group had not drunk or taken drugs beforehand and Sebastian, known as Seb, seemed fine when they entered.

Another friend told a West Yorkshire Police officer that he had not seen anyone in the group take drugs but had seen other people in the club taking them.

Mr Gidley said that he “wondered” where Sebastian had gone at one point during the night, but it “wasn’t unusual” for the group of friends to separate.

Club doorman Kevin Spur said in a statement that he did not see Sebastian collapse but received a call when he was taken out of the side door.

The inquest heard that when Mr Spur arrived, Sebastian was unconscious but still moving to the music, refusing to take water and sweating heavily.

Mr Spur, who has worked in the industry for 19 years, said that he “instantly knew it was drugs".

Sebastian was taken by ambulance to Leeds General Infirmary, where he suffered a cardiac arrest.

The court heard his mum, Francine, received a call from his phone and thought her son was trying to get a lift, but instead it was a nurse saying he had had a heart attack.

When she and his dad, Phillip, arrived at the LGI, they were told he had died after suffering a second cardiac arrest.

His iPhone was seized and there was no evidence of it being used to buy drugs, but a bag of powder was found in his jeans pocket.

Forensic pathologist Dr Mike Parsons found MDMA and cocaine in Sebastian’s system.

Assistant coroner Sarah Watson recorded a conclusion of drug-related death.

Sebastian's parents and sister Imogen issued a joint statement saying their lives will “never be the same” without him.

They said: “Seb was a lovely, funny, kind young man. He had a great job and was so popular amongst his many friends.

“Seb made a mistake one night and paid the ultimate price. Our lives will never be the same without our beautiful boy."