A GRIEVING family and a coroner have warned of the “devastating” consequences of inhaling lighter fuel following the tragic death of a 15-year-old boy.

Bradley Johnson collapsed and died in front of his friends despite being warned of the dangers of solvents, a Bournemouth inquest heard.

After hearing how the popular teenager died, Dorset coroner Rachael Griffin said: “If anything good can come of his death it will be to warn others of the dangers of inhaling solvents, which can have such terrible, drastic and devastating consequences.”

Speaking on behalf of Bradley’s family, his sister, Christabel Cooper, 23, said: “We lost a 15-year-old brother. Solvent abuse, as stated on the can, can kill. Our brother paid the price.

“We just want to warn people that this can happen. Our whole family is completely distraught.”

Mrs Griffin recorded a verdict that Bradley died of misadventure, which is a deliberate human act with unintended consequences.

The inquest heard Bradley, who lived at Bedford Road South in Poole, was with friends at an address in Summer Fields, Verwood, on the night of August 10 last year.

Detective Inspector Stephen May said investigations revealed Bradley left the house for around 20 minutes at around 11pm before returning and going to an upstairs bedroom.

He was followed by some of his friends who found him standing in the bedroom with his back to the door.

“He had a can of lighter fuel in his hand” said DI May. “He turned round to face the door and, as he did, he fell sideways and hit his head on a wardrobe.”

DI May said Bradley became unresponsive almost immediately. His friends rang their families and asked what to do, then called an ambulance.

The coroner was told Bradley’s friends picked him up and put him on the bed before attempting to resuscitate him.

Ambulance crews continued with resuscitation attempts but he was pronounced dead at 39 minutes past midnight on August 11.

Bradley’s legal guardian, Susan Cooper, attended the inquest along with three of his six siblings, Christabel, 27-year-old Bridie and Stefan, 26.

Stefan told the inquest he had been told that Bradley inhaled solvents on a previous occasion and that he had questioned him about it and warned him of the dangers.

“He said he had done it once and promised that he wouldn’t do it again” said Stefan.

After the hearing, Bridie added: “If a warning could stop just one teenager from doing the same thing as Bradley then it would be worth it. They don’t think it will happen to them.”

Mrs Cooper told how Bradley was popular and had lots of friends. She said he enjoyed sport, particularly fishing and boxing.

A post mortem examination revealed Bradley died of the inhalation of volatile substances. Hair analysis revealed he had also taken Ecstasy and cocaine in the four-and-a-half months before his death but the coroner confirmed that drugs played no part in his death.