A YOUNG Kidderminster chef found dead in France after inhaling nitrous oxide was not trying to take his own life, a coroner has said.
Worcestershire deputy coroner Marguerite Elcock ruled Jordan Guise, 21, died as a result of an accident on February 6 after taking the legal high known as “laughing gas” at his flat in Beziers, where he had been working as a head chef.
The inquest in Stourport yesterday heard Mr Guise had been found surrounded by canisters, balloons and bin liners - equipment associated with taking the drug. French authorities gave the medical cause of death as asphyxiation through the use of nitrous oxide.
His mother, Leesa Malpas, told the court she discovered in 2010 he had become a recreational drug user. She said last summer during a holiday in Malaga Mr Guise was introduced to nitrous oxide, which, friends had since told Mrs Malpas, he enjoyed. She also outlined events leading up to his death, which included finding out his girlfriend, named in court as Kim, was pregnant.
When Mr Guise was offered an opportunity to work in France, he thought getting away from England might help him cut down on drug use.
He started at La Charniere restaurant in Beziers last August and quickly rose to head chef.
In November Kim started working there. The couple began a relationship and in January found out she had become pregnant.
On February 4, just days before his death, Mr Guise told his parents Mrs Malpas and Michael Guise what had happened and said the couple had discussed terminating the pregnancy, which was set to go ahead in January but Kim had decided at the last minute to keep the baby. Mr Guise said he wanted Kim to either go ahead with the termination or move back to France to raise the baby.
He arranged to update his parents on Thursday – the day he was found dead.
Mrs Malpas told Mrs Elcock her son was not depressed about the situation and was “being very practical and knew something had to be done”.
She added: “I think he might have been high at the time and wanted an extra boost. I do not think for one minute he would have taken his own life.”
Summing up, Mrs Elcock said: “He was a recreational user of nitrous oxide and paraphernalia associated with taking it was found surrounding him.
“There is no evidence he deliberately intended to take his own life. I conclude this young man died as a result of an accident.”
Following the inquest, Mr Guise told The Shuttle: “It was the outcome we were looking for, that he did not take his own life.”
Mrs Malpass added the situation was “hard” and “horrible” for the family and revealed Kim had suffered a miscarriage the day after Mr Guise’s funeral on February 24.
The family has spread former Bewdley High School and Sixth Form Centre student’s ashes in both France and England.