The last time Les Claxton saw his grandson Darius alive, the 12-year-old kissed him and promised not to get into trouble.
Darius had been living with Claxton since March as he was too much for his parents to handle. He died shortly before midnight last Friday in a Christchurch carpark after "huffing" butane.
Claxton admitted the boy had been in plenty of trouble through tagging, shoplifting and breaking into stores.
"I could have locked him down when he came home from school and got him to stay home all weekend. But his father had tried that and he'd pulled a knife on his father so the police had to come. And his mother had tried it and he's smashed the windows to her house and her car."
Since living with Claxton, Darius' behaviour and attendance at Kirkwood Intermediate had improved.
"Monday to Friday he stayed home after school. If he behaved during the week he could go and catch up with mates."
That's what had happened last Friday. "I'd picked him up from school, he'd got changed and we'd put his washing on. I said, 'Have a good time with your friends but don't get in trouble'.
He said, 'I won't. I love you, Granddad'. He gave me a kiss and that was the last I saw of him."
Darius suffocated after the butane drew all the oxygen from his lungs, causing his heart to stop. Darius would have turned 13 on June 20.
About 300 people attended his funeral on Thursday.By Kathryn Powley Email Kathryn