Teen died of ecstasy overdose at Leeds Festival

James Houghton
James Houghton
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A FORMER school prefect who was just about to start university died of an ecstasy overdose at the Leeds Festival, an inquest heard.

James Houghton, 19, was a healthy 19-year-old with a “fabulous mind,” an inquest at Wakefield was told.

Mr Houghton, from Hartlepool, had travelled to the Leeds Festival with a group of friends in August 2013, shortly after being told he had won a place at Manchester University to study history.

The inquest heard Mr Houghton was seen to be stumbling while waiting to watch Eminem at the festival at Bramham Park, Wetherby, on Sunday August 25.

He left the crowd and suffered a seizure near a burger van.

Mr Houghton was taken by ambulance to the festival site’s medical centre, where he went into cardiac arrest.

Attempts were made to revive Mr Houghton, but he was pronounced dead at 11.30pm that night. Mr Houghton’s friends told security staff that he had taken three ecstasy tablets.

Dr Lisa Barker, a consultant histopathologist at St James’s Hospital, Leeds, said results of toxicology reports showed Mr Houghton had taken a fatal level of ecstasy.

Dr Barker said there were also traces of amphetamine and cocaine in his system.

She said high levels of ecstasy can cause convulsions and cardiac arrhythmia, where the heart beats abnormally.

Recording a verdict that Mr Houghton’s death was drug related, West Yorkshire Coroner David Hinchliff, said: “There is no doubt at all that he either had drugs with him, or will have acquired some whilst he was there and he had been known to be consuming recreational drugs over the course of that weekend.”

Mr Houghton’s mother Paula said in a statement to police: “He had a fabulous mind and cared passionately about his friends and family.”