Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Nicholas Holmes: Camper van death caused by barbecue

A 22-year-old man died after inhaling fumes from a barbecue he had used to cook burgers in his camper van, an inquest has heard.

Nicholas Holmes was staying on his own at the Hollands Wood campsite at Brockenhurst in the New Forest, Hampshire, at the end of May.

A police officer found his body on 1 June and a used disposable barbecue was found in the rear of the closed van.

A verdict of accidental death was recorded at an inquest in Southampton.

Det Sgt Andy Hedley, of Hampshire police, told the inquest: "The scene would suggest he had cooked an evening meal with two burgers and baps.

"It would then appear he closed the rear doors and allowed the barbecue to burn out."

'Intelligent young man'

Gordon Denson, Deputy Coroner for Southampton and the New Forest, said: "I am aware there are warnings on packets of barbecue, it is clear these were overlooked.

"I make a plea that members of the public take careful note of the printed warnings so these events are not repeated."

Speaking after the hearing, Mr Holmes' father Philip paid tribute to his son and appealed to people to take heed of the coroner's warning.

He said: "He was a sensitive, bright, intelligent young man who we are going to miss very much.

"It seems the public are all too unaware of the dangers of these disposable barbecues

"They spew out carbon monoxide for 12 hours after they have been used and there have been numerous cases of people losing their lives or nearly losing their lives."

Earlier this year, six-year-old Isabelle Harris, from Gosport, Hampshire, died of carbon-monoxide poisoning after her parents brought a disposable barbecue into their tent to keep warm during a camping trip in the New Forest.

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