Science student made his own cyanide to kill himself

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A STUDENT created cyanide gas to take his own life just two days before his graduation, an inquest was told.

Andrew Etches, 23, had passed his final exams for a BSc in Computer Science from Durham University when he decided to commit suicide on June 26.

His body was found by workmen in his blue Vauxhall Corsa which was parked on a back road off the A690 behind the Stonebridge pub, near Neville’s Cross, Durham City.

An inquest at Crook Coroner’s Court heard Mr Etches was in the back seat of the car and had a black plastic bag over his head.

A special constable smashed open the car window, though the keys were later found on the roof.

When chemicals were found in the car, the fire service was called and the area was cleared while a special toxic chemical unit was drafted in.

Firefighters found evidence of hydrogen cyanide and hydrogen sulphide.

The inquest heard Mr Etches created the gas using household items.

Pathologist Dr Mitul Sharma told the hearing Mr Etches died from hypoxia – a lack of oxygen and that other bruising was found on his body which suggested he had been self-harming.

County Durham and Darlington Coroner Andrew Tweddle concluded Mr Etches, who was originally from Kimberley in Nottingham, had taken his own life.