Teenager Patrick McMullen who died while on Skype had bought drugs from Silk Road

Seventeen-year-old had taken LSD and ecstasy and also told friends how he had purchased drugs on Silk Road

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The Independent Online

A teenager collapsed and died from a drug overdose alone in his home whilst speaking to friends over Skype in August, an inquest has heard.

Seventeen-year-old Patrick McMullen was having a voice conversation with three friends when his speech became slurred and he collapsed.

The teen, originally from Scotland, was later found dead on his bedroom floor at his parent’s house in Dorset.

Jack Sainsbury, 17, one of the friends who was on the call, told the inquest how Patrick had revealed earlier in the chat that he had taken half a gram of ecstasy and three LSD tabs.

His parents had been visiting family in London at the time.

When the friends heard “banging around” followed by silence, Jack, tried calling Patrick’s mobile and told his mother who alerted the ambulance service. Paramedics entered the house and found him dead.

Jack also told how Patrick spoke of taking ketamine he had purchased from Silk Road, a heavily encrypted online black market that was shut down by the FBI in October.

Another boy on the call, Josh Young, said Patrick regularly took LSD, ecstasy and cannabis and that he had felt “depressed and isolated”.

A promising student, he had hoped to study computing at Cambridge or UCL after leaving The Purbeck School in Wareham.

Mrs McMullen told how she had begged her son to stop using drugs. “I asked him to promise me he wouldn't use drugs. He said he couldn't do that,” she told the inquest.

A post mortem examination identified the cause of death as ecstasy toxicity with coroner Sheriff Payne ruling that Patrick had died from abuse of illicit drugs.

“It is a very sad end to a young man, particularly one who felt so confident in the use of drugs,” Mr Payne said. “You never know the purity of what you are taking and you can easily come unstuck.”