Neknominate inquiry after death of Cardiff man, 29

Police are investigating whether the death of Stephen Brookes in Cardiff is linked to the online drinking game

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Links with the Neknominate drinking game are being investigated by police who are looking into the sudden and unexplained death of a Cardiff man.

Neknomination: What is it?

  • Neknomination is a drinking game on social media believed to have started in Australia
  • The concept of the game has been described as "neck your drink, nominate another"
  • At least one death in Ireland has been linked to the craze
  • The Public Health Agency there condemned the game as "highly dangerous"
  • Facebook and Twitter users who receive a "Neknomination" are challenged to down a drink in one go, within 24 hours
  • They post a video of themselves completing the challenge and nominate friends to do the same
  • Neknominees who refuse and break the chain are subject to online ridicule

South Wales Police say they are waiting for post-mortem test results into the 29-year-old's death on Sunday morning.

The man has been named locally as Stephen Brookes, from Rumney, Cardiff.

Neknominate involves people filming themselves "necking" a drink, posting a video on social media and then nominating someone else to do the same.

Police confirmed they had received information about the drinking game as part of the investigation.

The coroner has been informed.

In a statement, South Wales Police said it was "investigating the sudden and unexplained death of a 29-year-old man from Rumney, Cardiff, during the early hours of February 9".

Jonny Byrne The death of Jonny Byrne, 19, has been linked to the drinking game

It said: "Officers investigating his death on behalf of HM Coroner have received information regarding the so-called neck and nominate game.

"Inquiries are continuing and a post-mortem examination is due to take place."

A teenager died on 1 February in the Republic of Ireland after allegedly taking part in a game of Neknominate.

Jonny Byrne, 19, from County Carlow, died after jumping into the River Barrow in Carlow.

His uncle Len Brimble, from Cwmbran in south Wales, said they had received a call on the Saturday telling them Mr Byrne had received a Neknomination and had drunk a mixture of whisky, Malibu and vodka before jumping in the river.

"He's a lad who who never went near water. He was absolutely terrified of water," Mr Brimble told BBC Radio Wales.

"Unfortunately he drowned. His brother tried to save him and he nearly drowned and his brother's girlfriend nearly drowned.

Start Quote

I want to warn the young people: don't do it”

End Quote Lee Brimble Uncle of Jonny Byrne, who died after allegedly taking part in Neknominate

"Johnny wasn't a big drinker. He'd manage a bottle of Heineken and that was about his limit.

"In my eyes, I think he'd been coerced into this thing."

Mr Brimble added: "I can't emphasise enough how stupid a game it is. We've all been young, we've all done silly things but this - the absolute tragedy of this is he had all his life in front of him."

The family went to Mr Byrne's funeral last Wednesday and Mr Brimble said the whole community had been devastated by the events.

"I want to warn the young people: don't do it.

"You'll destroy your family as it's destroyed our family."

The Daily Mirror has reported a man from Essex who was living in London became the first known UK victim of the game at the weekend.

Isaac Richardson, 20, died after he was apparently dared to drink something "messed up" and, according to a friend, responded by downing a mixture of wine, whisky, vodka and lager .

Meanwhile, the Young Farmers Club (YFC) in Wales has warned its 6,000 members about the dangers and possible consequences of taking part in the game.

'Neknomination', which involves filming oneself whilst 'necking' a drink, has gone viral on Facebook

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