Loving Chorley dad's tragic laughing gas death

A 29-year-old dad of one died after inhaling laughing gas in the grounds of a golf club.

Thursday, 4th March 2021, 7:20 am

Matthew Brannelly “appeared to have fallen asleep” after taking in a quantity of nitrus oxide.

An inquest at Preston returned a verdict of misadventure on Mr Brannelly, of Ullswater Road, Chorley

Mr Brannelly, a self-employed groundworker, who had an eight-year-old daughter, was with his friend Stephen Houghton at the time of the tragedy in October last year.

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Matthew Brannelly

The former pupil of Albany High School, Chorley, drove in the van he used for work.

The pair had gone to Duxbury Golf Club, Chorley, where Mr Brannelly, inhaled the nitrus oxide from small cannisters by a method which involves using a balloon to take in the gas.

Mr Houghton, who said he had also taken nitrus oxide, told the inquest: “I went for a couple of fags and when I came back he looked more asleep.”

He added: “I looked at him and he was grey and his lips were blue.”

After the alarm was raised, members of the golf club gave CPR to Mr Brannelly.

Mr Houghton, who suffers from bipolar disorder, said: “I knew him well as a friend and someone I work with. I reckon he had an addictive personality.

“The last two weeks was like talking to a stranger . . . he wasn’t there.

“I knew he did cocaine.”

He added: “He had had nitrus oxide for a year-and-a-half. That morning he parked outside the flat, he was as happy as larry as happy as anything.”

Mr Brannelly’s partner Stephanie Norris said they had been togetheer for just over ten years. She said he was “a loving dad”.

Coroner Richard Taylor said: “He intended to take the nitrus oxide, he didn’t intend the consequences. He died at Duxbury Golf Club having inhaled an excess of a toxic substance.”