A popular young man fatally stabbed himself in the chest mistakenly believing the vest he wore was stab-proof, his inquest heard.
Jordan Easton was in the kitchen at one of his friends’ parents on 23 August last year – just five days after his 22nd birthday – when he turned a knife on himself to demonstrate the “stab-proof” nature of the abdominal protection he had on.
He suffered a chest stab wound, and was taken to the University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton.
Teesside assistant coroner Karin Welsh said: ”Despite the best efforts of the medical professionals, they were unable to save him.”
Although his injuries were “self-inflicted”, there was no evidence Mr Easton intended to harm himself.
A police investigation was launched, but no further action was taken.
Detective Superintendent Ted Butcher, from Cleveland Police’s major investigation team, confirmed various witnesses and Jordan’s family had been spoken to.
He agreed with the coroner’s assertion that “while Jordan may have had his issues in the past, he seemed to have settled down”.
DSI Butcher confirmed that all the witnesses gave consistent accounts about what happened – subsequently borne out by toxicology and other reports.
Mr Easton had died after “a boisterous act”, added DSI Butcher.
Jordan’s devastated mum Alison Price told the inquest she found it “hard to believe the concept that Jordan would consciously do that”.
She said: “It’s more possible if it was bravado, showing off in front of lads, but where a mother and a young girl were, it’s out of character for him. I can’t absorb it.”
Recording a verdict of misadventure, Ms Welsh blamed the tragedy on “the foolishness of youth”.
“I can’t begin to imagine what you are going through,” she told his grieving relatives.
Mr Easton’s friends paid tribute to a “one-of-a-kind kid” and “a character”.
“Everyone on the estate got on with him and loved him,” said one childhood friend.