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General_view_of_Roundhill_Crescent,_BrightonA 22-year-old man from East Cowes died as a result of asphyxiation, which has been blamed on his regular hippy crack habit, an inquest has heard.

As reported by Island Echo in March, 22-year-old Aaron Dunford was found dead at his student accommodation in Roundhill Crescent, Brighton on the afternoon of Monday 2nd March. Paramedics from the South East Coast Ambulance Service were called to the scene alongside officers from Sussex Police, however there was nothing they could do to save the life of Mr Dunford, who had already died.

aarondunfordAn inquest at Brighton’s Coroner Court has this week heard how the student, originally from East Cowes, suffered from chronic nerve pain in his knees probably due to his prolonged use of the legal high ‘hippy crack’. His pain was so great that he couldn’t walk down stairs.

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Shockingly, over 200 canisters of nitrous oxide were found at the address and are said to have contributed to his death, which was recorded as death by misadventure by asphyxiation, inhalation of nitrous oxide and chronic nerve pain likely due to B12 deficiency caused by use of the gas.

Detective Inspector Mick Jones from Sussex Police said:

“Anyone considering using this substance in this way should think again.

“The effect of asphyxia through inhalation could happen on the first occasion it is used or after repeated use.

“This tragic case has highlighted that even when it does not result in a fatality that there are longer term effects on your health as despite the deceased being a young man, he was unable to walk down a simple flight of steps due to the chronic pain he had in his knees which was a direct result of using nitrous oxide gas.”

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For more information about the effects of ‘Hippy Crack’ and how you can seek support visit

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