Five days after his 22nd birthday, Jordan Easton was celebrating with friends at a house in northeast England when he began talking about the vest he was wearing. It was stab-proof, Easton allegedly announced. He offered a demonstration.
But the vest was not stab-proof.
"While in the kitchen, he took hold of a knife to demonstrate it was stab-proof and sadly realised it wasn't the case," Teesside assistant coroner Karin Welsh said at a recent inquest into the August 23, 2017 incident, the Teesside Gazette reported Saturday.
Easton died from the self-inflicted knife wound. Although his death was originally reported in the local media, the details of how the young man met his end only were revealed at the inquest held at the Teesside Coroners' Court. "Despite the best efforts of the medical professionals, they were unable to save him," Welsh told the court.
Police and coroner officials told the court Easton's sad death was the result of "the foolishness of youth," according to the Independent. The coroner called it the result of "misadventure," or death by unintended consequences. "It seems clear that's the situation with Jordan," Welsh said.
The Teesside Coroner's office did not respond to a request for further comment.
Easton's death hit his hometown of Thornaby hard. Following the accident last August, numerous friends offered memories to local media of a well-liked practical joker who could often be found kicking a soccer ball around the local streets in the summer months.
"He was always having a laugh - you couldn't have a conversation with him without laughing," a friend told the Gazette. "When I heard the news I was just thinking this was just him having a laugh with me, that he was trying to wind me up as that was him - but it wasn't and I don't think his loss will ever truly sink in."
"RIP to one of the craziest lads I've met," another friend posted on Facebook. "[Y]ou were one of a kind kid."
The Sun reported a police investigation launched after the stabbing. Witness statements and post-mortem exams backed up that Easton had accidentally stabbed himself thinking his vest could withstand the thrust.
Detective Superintendent Ted Butcher told the court at the inquest the investigation revealed Easton's death was the result of "a boisterous act."
But Easton's mother, Alison Price, testified at the inquest that it was "hard to believe the concept that Jordan would consciously do that," the Gazette reported.
"It's out of character for him," Price told the court. "I can't absorb it."
The coroner stood by the ruling. "I can't begin to imagine what you are going through," Welsh told the family.