The family of a student who died after during a drink-fuelled initiation ceremony has been left ‘underwhelmed’ by the university’s response to the ‘wasteful death’.

Ed Farmer, 20, a first-year economics student at Newcastle University, died due to ‘toxic effects’ of alcohol following an Agricultural Society event in December 2016, a coroner ruled.

The 20-year-old was found unresponsive with just 2% chance of survival in a hallway following the event, which involved attendees drinking vodka from a pig’s head, bobbing apples from a bucket of urine and having their heads shaved, an inquest heard.

Ed Farmer_Newcastle student. Provided by the family via Tom Witherow

Ed Farmer, 20, a first-year economics student at Newcastle University, died due to ‘toxic effects’ of alcohol (Picture: Family handout)
Speaking after the inquest, his dad Jeremy said the family had been left ‘utterly underwhelmed and frustrated’ at the ‘apparent inactivity’ of the university and Students’ Union.

Jeremy said: ‘Ed’s is not the first utterly needless and wasteful death to come about through this potentially fatal practice.

‘We have found it acutely painful to learn about the complete lack of understanding of all the students who organised and accompanied Ed during that fatal event on the 12th December 2016.

‘The day that’s associated with drinking excessive amounts of alcohol within a short period of time.

‘However we want these students to know we are grateful for their attendance at this inquest, because we recognise it has been a difficult process for them also.

Dated: 25/10/2018 Newcastle University student Ed Farmer died due to the "toxic effects" of alcohol after a university Agricultural Society initiation which involved drinking vodka from a pig's head, a coroner has ruled after an inquest. Pictured: Ed's mother Helen and brother William at the press conference surrounded by members of the Agricultural Society. See copy North News.
Ed’s mother Helen and brother William after the inquest, surrounded by members of the Agricultural Society after today’s inquest (Picture: Raoul Dixon / NNP)

‘We wish them the very best in their respective futures.’

He added: ‘We heard in evidence how initiations have been ongoing at Newcastle University in excess of 10 years possibly even 30-40 years despite such events being apparently banned by both the university and student union.

‘However we recognise this problem is not unique to Newcastle University.’

During the inquest, a coroner heard how those attending the event went on a bar crawl around the city centre, with ‘older students’ ordering a round of 100 triple vodkas to be shared between the attendees.

Ed, who witnesses described as being ‘nervous’ about attending, then had to be carried to a nearby Metro station in order to attend the next leg of the event, which took place at a second-year student’s home.

EDITORS NOTE: Police have not confirmed which of the people shown in the footage is Ed Farmer Still from Northumbria Police handout CCTV footage taken during a Newcastle University Agricultural Society "initiation" event in December 2016. Ed Farmer, 20, died the morning after attending the event as a result of excessive drinking, a coroner ruled on Thursday. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday October 25, 2018. See PA story INQUEST Student. Photo credit should read: Northumbria Police/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
Ed was monitored by four older members of the group, who were ‘falsely reassured’ by his snoring and believed he was sleeping off his drunkenness (Picture: PA)
North News
He was seen on CCTV from a Metro station (Picture: North News)

The coroner told how the student, from Leicester, was monitored by four older members of the group, who were ‘falsely reassured’ by his snoring and believed he was sleeping off his drunkenness.

CCTV has been released from the Metro station, and Jeremy said: ‘The CCTV images are not how we want Ed to be remembered but we have made this decision trusting that these images will be used to bring home to students and universities the real dangers associated with the practices of initiations.

‘We can only hope that lessons will be learnt.’

At around 4.43am, it was discovered Ed had stopped breathing, and he was rushed to the nearby Royal Victoria Infirmary, but he was declared dead at around 5.30am on 13 December, 2016.

Recording a narrative conclusion at his inquest on Thursday, coroner Karen Dilks ruled: ‘Ed died due to the toxic effects of an excessive amount of alcohol in a short period of time and in part because the inherent risks of doing so were not known.’

Jeremy said: ‘Ed’s is not the first utterly needless and wasteful death to come about through this potentially fatal practice.

‘We have found it acutely painful to learn about the complete lack of understanding of all the students who organised and accompanied Ed during that fatal event on the 12th December 2016.

‘The day that’s associated with drinking excessive amounts of alcohol within a short period of time.

‘However we want these students to know we are grateful for their attendance at this inquest, because we recognise it has been a difficult process for them also.

Dated: 25/10/2018 Newcastle University student Ed Farmer died due to the "toxic effects" of alcohol after a university Agricultural Society initiation which involved drinking vodka from a pig's head, a coroner has ruled after an inquest. Pictured: Ed's mother Helen and brother William at the press conference surrounded by members of the Agricultural Society. See copy North News.
Ed’s mother Helen and brother William after the inquest, surrounded by members of the Agricultural Society after today’s inquest (Picture: Raoul Dixon / NNP)

‘We wish them the very best in their respective futures.’

He added: ‘We heard in evidence how initiations have been ongoing at Newcastle University in excess of 10 years possibly even 30-40 years despite such events being apparently banned by both the university and student union.

‘However we recognise this problem is not unique to Newcastle University.’

During the inquest, a coroner heard how those attending the event went on a bar crawl around the city centre, with ‘older students’ ordering a round of 100 triple vodkas to be shared between the attendees.

Ed, who witnesses described as being ‘nervous’ about attending, then had to be carried to a nearby Metro station in order to attend the next leg of the event, which took place at a second-year student’s home.

EDITORS NOTE: Police have not confirmed which of the people shown in the footage is Ed Farmer Still from Northumbria Police handout CCTV footage taken during a Newcastle University Agricultural Society "initiation" event in December 2016. Ed Farmer, 20, died the morning after attending the event as a result of excessive drinking, a coroner ruled on Thursday. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday October 25, 2018. See PA story INQUEST Student. Photo credit should read: Northumbria Police/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
Ed was monitored by four older members of the group, who were ‘falsely reassured’ by his snoring and believed he was sleeping off his drunkenness (Picture: PA)
North News
He was seen on CCTV from a Metro station (Picture: North News)

The coroner told how the student, from Leicester, was monitored by four older members of the group, who were ‘falsely reassured’ by his snoring and believed he was sleeping off his drunkenness.

Jeremy said: ‘Ed’s is not the first utterly needless and wasteful death to come about through this potentially fatal practice.

‘We have found it acutely painful to learn about the complete lack of understanding of all the students who organised and accompanied Ed during that fatal event on the 12th December 2016.

‘The day that’s associated with drinking excessive amounts of alcohol within a short period of time.

‘However we want these students to know we are grateful for their attendance at this inquest, because we recognise it has been a difficult process for them also.

Dated: 25/10/2018 Newcastle University student Ed Farmer died due to the "toxic effects" of alcohol after a university Agricultural Society initiation which involved drinking vodka from a pig's head, a coroner has ruled after an inquest. Pictured: Ed's mother Helen and brother William at the press conference surrounded by members of the Agricultural Society. See copy North News.
Ed’s mother Helen and brother William after the inquest, surrounded by members of the Agricultural Society after today’s inquest (Picture: Raoul Dixon / NNP)

‘We wish them the very best in their respective futures.’

He added: ‘We heard in evidence how initiations have been ongoing at Newcastle University in excess of 10 years possibly even 30-40 years despite such events being apparently banned by both the university and student union.

‘However we recognise this problem is not unique to Newcastle University.’

During the inquest, a coroner heard how those attending the event went on a bar crawl around the city centre, with ‘older students’ ordering a round of 100 triple vodkas to be shared between the attendees.

Ed, who witnesses described as being ‘nervous’ about attending, then had to be carried to a nearby Metro station in order to attend the next leg of the event, which took place at a second-year student’s home.

EDITORS NOTE: Police have not confirmed which of the people shown in the footage is Ed Farmer Still from Northumbria Police handout CCTV footage taken during a Newcastle University Agricultural Society "initiation" event in December 2016. Ed Farmer, 20, died the morning after attending the event as a result of excessive drinking, a coroner ruled on Thursday. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday October 25, 2018. See PA story INQUEST Student. Photo credit should read: Northumbria Police/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
Ed was monitored by four older members of the group, who were ‘falsely reassured’ by his snoring and believed he was sleeping off his drunkenness (Picture: PA)
North News
He was seen on CCTV from a Metro station (Picture: North News)

The coroner told how the student, from Leicester, was monitored by four older members of the group, who were ‘falsely reassured’ by his snoring and believed he was sleeping off his drunkenness.

Jeremy said: ‘Ed’s is not the first utterly needless and wasteful death to come about through this potentially fatal practice.

‘We have found it acutely painful to learn about the complete lack of understanding of all the students who organised and accompanied Ed during that fatal event on the 12th December 2016.

‘The day that’s associated with drinking excessive amounts of alcohol within a short period of time.

‘However we want these students to know we are grateful for their attendance at this inquest, because we recognise it has been a difficult process for them also.

Dated: 25/10/2018 Newcastle University student Ed Farmer died due to the "toxic effects" of alcohol after a university Agricultural Society initiation which involved drinking vodka from a pig's head, a coroner has ruled after an inquest. Pictured: Ed's mother Helen and brother William at the press conference surrounded by members of the Agricultural Society. See copy North News.
Ed’s mother Helen and brother William after the inquest, surrounded by members of the Agricultural Society after today’s inquest (Picture: Raoul Dixon / NNP)

‘We wish them the very best in their respective futures.’

He added: ‘We heard in evidence how initiations have been ongoing at Newcastle University in excess of 10 years possibly even 30-40 years despite such events being apparently banned by both the university and student union.

‘However we recognise this problem is not unique to Newcastle University.’

During the inquest, a coroner heard how those attending the event went on a bar crawl around the city centre, with ‘older students’ ordering a round of 100 triple vodkas to be shared between the attendees.

Ed, who witnesses described as being ‘nervous’ about attending, then had to be carried to a nearby Metro station in order to attend the next leg of the event, which took place at a second-year student’s home.

EDITORS NOTE: Police have not confirmed which of the people shown in the footage is Ed Farmer Still from Northumbria Police handout CCTV footage taken during a Newcastle University Agricultural Society "initiation" event in December 2016. Ed Farmer, 20, died the morning after attending the event as a result of excessive drinking, a coroner ruled on Thursday. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday October 25, 2018. See PA story INQUEST Student. Photo credit should read: Northumbria Police/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
Ed was monitored by four older members of the group, who were ‘falsely reassured’ by his snoring and believed he was sleeping off his drunkenness (Picture: PA)
North News
He was seen on CCTV from a Metro station (Picture: North News)

The coroner told how the student, from Leicester, was monitored by four older members of the group, who were ‘falsely reassured’ by his snoring and believed he was sleeping off his drunkenness.

Jeremy said: ‘Ed’s is not the first utterly needless and wasteful death to come about through this potentially fatal practice.

‘We have found it acutely painful to learn about the complete lack of understanding of all the students who organised and accompanied Ed during that fatal event on the 12th December 2016.

‘The day that’s associated with drinking excessive amounts of alcohol within a short period of time.

‘However we want these students to know we are grateful for their attendance at this inquest, because we recognise it has been a difficult process for them also.

Dated: 25/10/2018 Newcastle University student Ed Farmer died due to the "toxic effects" of alcohol after a university Agricultural Society initiation which involved drinking vodka from a pig's head, a coroner has ruled after an inquest. Pictured: Ed's mother Helen and brother William at the press conference surrounded by members of the Agricultural Society. See copy North News.
Ed’s mother Helen and brother William after the inquest, surrounded by members of the Agricultural Society after today’s inquest (Picture: Raoul Dixon / NNP)

‘We wish them the very best in their respective futures.’

He added: ‘We heard in evidence how initiations have been ongoing at Newcastle University in excess of 10 years possibly even 30-40 years despite such events being apparently banned by both the university and student union.

‘However we recognise this problem is not unique to Newcastle University.’

During the inquest, a coroner heard how those attending the event went on a bar crawl around the city centre, with ‘older students’ ordering a round of 100 triple vodkas to be shared between the attendees.

Ed, who witnesses described as being ‘nervous’ about attending, then had to be carried to a nearby Metro station in order to attend the next leg of the event, which took place at a second-year student’s home.

EDITORS NOTE: Police have not confirmed which of the people shown in the footage is Ed Farmer Still from Northumbria Police handout CCTV footage taken during a Newcastle University Agricultural Society "initiation" event in December 2016. Ed Farmer, 20, died the morning after attending the event as a result of excessive drinking, a coroner ruled on Thursday. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday October 25, 2018. See PA story INQUEST Student. Photo credit should read: Northumbria Police/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
Ed was monitored by four older members of the group, who were ‘falsely reassured’ by his snoring and believed he was sleeping off his drunkenness (Picture: PA)
North News
He was seen on CCTV from a Metro station (Picture: North News)

The coroner told how the student, from Leicester, was monitored by four older members of the group, who were ‘falsely reassured’ by his snoring and believed he was sleeping off his drunkenness.