Chris Mapletoft parents 'shocked' over diet pills death

Chris Mapletoft
Image caption Chris was a star rugby player at school

The parents of an 18-year-old A-level student who died after taking diet pills were "shocked to the core" by his death, they have said.

Chris Mapletoft, of Twickenham, south-west London, died after taking a diet aid which contained 2,4-dinitrophenol (DNP) - a chemical used in pesticides.

Mother Lesley said it was "incredulous" that the pills could be purchased "with a few clicks of a button".

Chris, a star rugby player at Hampton School, died in June.

The inquest into his death at West London Coroner's Court on 9 September established the cause of death as 2, 4-dinitrophenol toxicity. A verdict of accidental death was recorded.

Lesley Mapletoft said she and her husband David, a black cab driver, had "no idea" their son was taking the pills.

'No legal redress'

"We are absolutely shocked to the core that he would take the risk because he was bright. He was not reckless.

"I really find it unbelievable that with a few clicks of a button this stuff is so widely available on the internet.

"We are both incredulous that something that is not suitable for human consumption can be sold in tablet form with no obvious legal redress," she added.

Mr Mapletoft said: "He was already slim, muscular and well built.

"We just think this was (for him) just another pound or two coming away from the midriff and then he would look fantastic on the beach.

Chris's mother added: "Our hearts go out to people who have lost loved ones due to this DNP.

"This was never about rugby. It was never about sport. I think it was all about the six-pack."

"A parent should never have to bury their child, not over something like this," she added.

The teenager died at home before the ambulance arrived after he started feeling ill, vomiting and feeling hot.

It was thought he had contracted meningitis and an initial post-mortem examination was inconclusive.

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