Boohoo boss found son dead in bed after overdose when he didn’t wake up for work

The CEO of fast-fashion chain Boohoo found his son dead in bed after an accidental fatal overdose of morphine, an inquest has heard.

Louis Lyttle, 20, was found "grey and unresponsive" by his dad John who heard his alarm going off and went to check on him.

An inquest at Maidstone Town Hall in Kent heard Louis had recently graduated from university and was working in digital marketing at Boohoo when he died at the family home in Seal Chart near Sevenoaks.

He was killed by a fatal drug overdose just 10 days before his 21st birthday.

The inquest heard dad John went into his son's room at around 5.50am after his alarm had gone off, but when he entered, Louis appeared grey and was cold to the touch.

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He slapped his face but there was no response so he carried out CPR while waiting for an ambulance to arrive.

Paramedics arrived and took over, but he was pronounced dead at 6.20am and "may have already been dead for a couple of hours".

A post-mortem examination showed Louis had levels of morphine in his bloodstream consistent with an overdose, as well as cocaine.

The inquest heard the fashion magnate's son had experimented with substances at university around a year before he died but had no known history of drug abuse or addiction problems.

Detective Inspector Sarah Stevenson said a large matchbox, a very small amount of white powder, two small pieces of clingfilm and an empty vitamin pipette were all found in Louis' bathroom.

Bottles of beer were also hidden behind the pipework, while empty lager cans had been stuffed inside a suitcase concealed in his room, she said.

DI Stevenson added she believed "these were elements that he didn't want to be seen" as his parents hadn't known about the hidden alcohol.

A police investigation was unable to find the source of the drugs.

MirrorOnline reports Coroner Alan Blunsdon, recording a conclusion of death by misadventure, said Louis had "naively" taken a lethal dose of morphine as he was unused to such substances.

Mr Blunsdon said: "He had a promising career in digital marketing, he was in good health, a member of a loving and supportive family and was standing on the threshold of potentially a very successful future, which he was keen to embrace.

"He was working long hours with a view to promotion, he was an outgoing and promising person who was well regarded by others.

"What is abundantly clear is that there is no evidence to support a conclusion of Louis intending to cause harm to himself or take his own life.

"I doubt however that Louis understood the effects of morphine on circulation and that it leads to potentially stopping breathing."

He continued: "More probably it was the death of a naive young man who used a high level of substance with catastrophic results."

In a statement, Louis' father, who appeared over video link, said: "Louis was a positive character and he had plans for the future.

"He was positive about work. As parents, we had a concern he may have used drugs recreationally. He did say he had been experimenting but didn't say what. He did say he had been taking Xanax because he was stressed with exams.

"But we had no concerns about Louis' lifestyle or mental health."

Boohoo was founded in 2006 by entrepreneur Mahmud Kamani and designer and businesswoman Carol Kane.

John Lyttle joined the company last year after 10 years as chief operating officer at Primark.

He was among many in the fashion industry who called for a licensing scheme to ensure textile factories are fit to trade after it was alleged in July that garment workers manufacturing products for Boohoo in Leicester were paid as little as £3.50 an hour.

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