Tragic young rugby player died after becoming hooked on drugs and being forced to have his leg amputated

Leyton Kennedy was found unconscious in his flatLeyton Kennedy was found unconscious in his flat
Leyton Kennedy was found unconscious in his flat
A talented young rugby player’s life went off the rails after he began experimenting with drugs, ultimately leading to his tragic death.

An inquest was held into the death of Leyton Kennedy, who was found collapsed and unresponsive at his flat in Cinnamon Avenue, Hindley Green, at the age of 43.

The inquest heard that the former pupil of Fred Longworth High School, Tyldesley, had abandoned education with no qualifications at the age of 13 and never held down a steady job.

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Despite being a “good rugby player” as a teenager, Leyton’s lifestyle became increasingly chaotic after he began using drugs, starting with cannabis and escalating to Class A substances including heroin.

In a statement read out at Bolton coroners’ court, his mum Susan said her son became trapped in a “never ending spiral of stints in prison and needing money to fund his habit.”

At one stage, he blew a £10k savings pot he received on his 18th birthday in a matter of weeks by either spending it or giving it away.

His intravenous drug use culminated with the amputation of one leg below the knee, which left him reliant on a motorised scooter to get about.

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After this, his depression and anxiety increased, and he failed to keep appointments or engage with probation officers and others who were trying to help him.

Mum Susan said: “I did everything I could to discourage him from using drugs, but there was nothing I could do to make him stop.

"He couldn’t cope with losing his leg.”

She also claimed her son had not received enough support from probation and mental health teams.

Leyton’s body was discovered in his ground-floor rented flat on Friday, February 2, after a “concern for welfare” was raised after he hadn’t been seen for several days and had failed to keep an appointment with his probation officer.

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Officers who forced their way into the property had to deal with what was described as a “large dog” before a paramedic could examine the body and pronounce life extinct.

A subsequent post mortem revealed a high level of illicit and prescription drugs in Leyton’s body, including a high reading of cocaine which suggested “binge use” prior to death.

The cause of death was given as acute mixed drug toxicity, with the coroner Ceri Own concluding Leyton’s death was drug-related.

Leyton’s stepfather Stephen Evans, who attended the inquest, said afterwards: “Deep down he was a good boy really, he just lost his way and went down a path he couldn’t get back from. Despite numerous attempts by his family to help him, he was lost.”

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