Home U.K Student died after university rugby club initiation went tragically wrong, inquest hears

Student died after university rugby club initiation went tragically wrong, inquest hears


Sam Potter died from alcohol toxicity after taking part in a four-hour drinking session. The 19-year-old was found dead at a house in Gloucester by University of Gloucestershire teammates in the early hours of May 9, 2019. Mr Potter, from Hersham, Surrey, had drunk the equivalent of more than four-and-a-half times the legal drink-drive limit.

Gloucestershire Coroner’s Court heard about 15 first and second-year students had been taking part in the end-of-season initiation games. At 6pm several players went home but the

second-year film production student fell asleep on the floor.

The alarm was raised at about 5.30am the following day when friends could not wake him. Paramedics attended and confirmed his death.

Detective Sergeant David McCoy told the hearing: “It was a tragic accident.

“I see the list of drinks being drunk, ranging from rum, Guinness, lager and all sorts and items of food and sauces I think were taken as well.” 

Toxicology tests showed Mr Potter had 362mg of ethanol per 100ml of blood. Katy Skerrett, senior coroner for Gloucestershire, explained experts regard a level of more than 350mg as being potentially fatal.

Recording a conclusion of alcohol-related death, Ms Skerrett said: “Clearly, there is an element of peer pressure in any such event, but the evidence points to this being a voluntary attendance by Sam.”

Speaking afterwards, Mr Potter’s parents, Kevin and Lindsay, said: “It appears none of the students involved had any idea of the dangers associated with drinking large amounts of alcohol over a short amount of time.”

They added: “We are heartened to hear of the independent research undertaken into the culture of sport at the University of Gloucestershire and problem initiations.”


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