26 Apr 2018

Young man's death a 'sad illustration' of drinking culture

6:00 pm on 26 April 2018

A coroner has found the death of a West Coast teenager after binge drinking at a party is a sad illustration of New Zealand's drinking culture.

No caption

Photo: Pexels

Mitchell David Heward, who was 17, died after drinking beer and spirits through a funnel at a party at Lake Kaniere, near Hokitika, in February 2016.

In findings released today, the coroner Anna Tutton, said the young farm hand lost consciousness after drinking a significant amount of alcohol and could not be revived.

Ms Tutton said Mr Heward's death was senseless, and it is critical young people realise how dangerous binge drinking can be.

Two of his friends were charged with supplying alcohol to Mr Heward.

One pleaded guilty and was discharged without conviction.

The other was found not guilty at trial.