'Vulnerable' Chesterfield teenager's death 'illustrates risk in taking ecstasy tablets', warns coroner as inquest concludes

The death of a 'vulnerable' Chesterfield teenager who died after taking a single ecstasy pill 'illustrates the risk' in taking such tablets, a coroner has warned.

Thursday, 15th August 2019, 5:38 pm
James Yates was just 19 when he died.
James Yates was just 19 when he died.

The two-day inquest into the death of James Yates, who was just 19 when he died at Chesterfield Royal Hospital last year, concluded this afternoon (Thursday, August 18) at Chesterfield Coroner's Court.

The court heard that Mr Yates had taken the drug at a festival and that medics had worked through the night to save him as he fought for life.

Sadly, it was too late and he died on July 24, a day after he was admitted to A&E.

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James Yates was just 19 when he died.

His former foster carer Jacqui Kirk described Mr Yates as 'very complex and vulnerable' and said he would 'have done anything for friendship'.

"If someone said 'take these, you'll like them', he'd have taken them," she told the court.

Assistant coroner for Derbyshire, Peter Nieto, concluded that Mr Yates died from multi-organ failure brought on by ecstasy toxicity.

"Mr Yates died due to the toxic effects of having ingested a high dose of ecstasy, despite the provision of intensive emergency medical treatment.

The inquest took place at Chesterfield Coroner's Court.

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Mr Nieto added that Mr Yates received social care and leaver support and that accommodation and specialist services were offered to him.

"Although significant risks were identified, he was not known to be a user of drugs," he added.

"Toxicology testing revealed a very high level of ecstasy to be in Mr Yates's system prior to death at a level recognised as capable of causing fatalities.

"There is a real possibility that he had just taken one tablet, and if that was the case this illustrates the risk in taking ecstasy tablets."

After Mr Yates died, his sister Natalie Taylor paid tribute to her brother and warned other young adults against using ecstasy.

She told the Derbyshire Times: "James was a very happy person who just wanted to have fun. He was very vulnerable due to his foetal alcohol spectrum disorder and very easily led.

"None of his family and friends expected this to happen at all, not ever. For anyone thinking about getting involved with drugs, please don't.

"James is proof that drugs can kill. He wasn't a drug addict, it only takes one time."