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Student, 16, found dead in college toilet block

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: September 28, 2012

Charlie Alford, described by friends as 'brave, caring, funny, and nice'

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Tributes have been paid to a teenager, described as "the funniest person you could ever meet", who died after he collapsed in college toilets.

Charlie Alford, who was 16 years old, was pronounced dead at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, on Wednesday, after his body was found by staff at Cornwall College, in Saltash, earlier that afternoon.

Police have launched an investigation into the circumstances leading to Charlie's death, but have said they are not looking for anyone else in connection with the inquiry.

Friends say they have planned to gather in Charlie's memory in Lanreath, south east Cornwall, this evening as those who knew him come to terms with the death.

Posting on one of several Facebook memorial pages dedicated to Charlie, Fraser Watt wrote: "You were the nicest, funniest person you could ever meet."

Alana Breakingbury described Charlie as "a great friend", adding: "I don't know anyone that didn't like you but you're now in a better place. You left your stamp on the world forever."

Devon and Cornwall Police said they were unable to comment on the possible causes of Charlie's death.

A statement said: "Police were informed at around 5.30pm on Wednesday by Derriford Hospital that a 16-year-old boy had died. Staff at the Saltash site of Cornwall College found the boy collapsed in a toilet area during the afternoon.

"CPR was carried out by staff and he was shortly afterwards taken to hospital by ambulance and was later declared deceased.

"Police are working closely with the college to ensure the welfare of staff and students are looked after and officers, as is usual in incidents such as these, are investigating the circumstances of this death."

Charlie was discovered in toilets at Cornwall College's Saltash campus where staff initially tried to resuscitate the teenager before emergency services took him to hospital.

Teachers last night paid tribute to the student, who had only recently started at the college. In a statement, Jan Langley, Charlie's lecturer at Cornwall College, Saltash, described the teenager as "a cheeky charmer who you couldn't help but like".

The statement added: "He was so popular with his classmates and they'd all really got to know each other well in the few weeks since he started at college. It's such a sad loss."

Cornwall College principal Dave Linnell said: "We are deeply saddened by this tragedy. Our thoughts are with Charlie's family and friends. We are supporting students and staff at this difficult time."

A Cornwall College spokeswoman said counsellors had been on site since Charlie's death to offer support to students and staff affected by the tragedy.

Hundreds of people have taken to social networking sites to pay tribute to their friend. Iona Smart described Charlie as a "brave, funny caring, nice, gentle person".

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