Teenager died after reaction to ecstasy and cocaine, inquest hears

HMRC trainee tax assistant, 18, collapsed and died after suffering a fatal reaction to ecstasy and cocaine during a night out, inquest hears

  • Seb Costello was found on floor of Club Church in Leeds early morning of May 25
  • He was rushed to Leeds General Infirmary, went into cardiac arrest and later died
  • Inquest into death heard he had suffered a fatal reaction to ecstasy and cocaine

Seb Costello’s family described him as a ‘lovely, happy young boy’

An 18-year-old trainee tax assistant died after taking a fatal amount of ecstasy while on a night out, an inquest has heard. 

Door staff at Club Church in Leeds found Seb Costello on the venue floor in the early hours of May 25, and carried him outside before calling an ambulance. 

Mr Costello, from Bury, was rushed to Leeds General Infirmary, where he went into cardiac arrest and later died.

Today, an inquest into his death heard he had suffered a fatal reaction to ecstasy and cocaine. Forensic pathologist Michael Parsons told the hearing that Mr Costello, a trainee tax assistant with HMRC, died as a result of ‘MDMA and cocaine intoxication’.

Following the inquest, the teenager’s devastated family described him as a ‘lovely, happy young boy’.

Paying tribute to their son, Mr Costello’s mother and father, Francine and Philip Costello, 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.’

The Manchester United season ticket holder had travelled to the West Yorkshire city with a group of friends to attend an event featuring performances from a number of DJs, including dance music pioneer Carl Cox.

The event on Friday, May 24 had been billed as a ‘farewell party’ before the nightclub, which was located inside an 18th century former church, closed due to the building’s owners taking back the lease. The closure had been announced before Mr Costello’s death.

In a statement read out in court, one of Mr Costello’s friends, Dan Gidley, said the group arrived at the venue at about 11.30pm.

He said they were still sober by that point and that Mr Costello had ‘seemed fine’.

However, the hearing at Wakefield Coroner’s Court heard that Mr Costello became separated from his friends during the course of the night.

When Mr Gidley left the club at 4am, he tried to contact Mr Costello on his mobile phone but a nurse answered instead.

Concerned, Mr Gidley asked where his friend was, and the nurse told him she ‘could not disclose sensitive information’ before asking whether they had taken any drugs.

Mr Costello, from Bury, was rushed to Leeds General Infirmary, where he went into cardiac arrest and later died

Recalling how she found out what had happened, Mrs Costello told the court she was awoken by her phone ringing in the early hours of the morning.

At first she thought it was her son ‘calling for a lift’, but she was then told her son had suffered a heart attack.

The family jumped in the car and rushed across the Pennines but, upon arriving at the hospital, they received the devastating news that the teenager had died.

Kevin Spurr, who was working as a door man at the event, said the venue had been full to capacity on the night of Mr Costello’s death.

He said he was first made aware of what happened when he received a radio call from a colleague saying someone had been removed from the nightclub via a fire exit at 4.30am.

When Mr Spurr arrived at the door, he found Mr Costello lying on his back and was told he had collapsed.

He told the hearing the teenager was still conscious and dancing along to the beat of the music, but he could tell he was under the influence of drugs.

An ambulance arrived soon after and took Mr Costello to hospital.

There, he suffered a cardiac arrest and, despite the best efforts of medical staff, he was pronounced dead shortly before 7am.

Recording her verdict, assistant coroner Sarah Watson said: ‘The deceased was found in a collapsed position on May 25 at Club Church in Leeds. He was taken to Leeds General Infirmary, where he subsequently died.

‘My conclusion as to the cause is that it is a drug related death.’

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