Boy, 11, with diary allergies died after his dad accidentally gave him ‘free from’ chocolate bar that contained milk


AN 11-year-old boy with a dairy allergy died after his dad mistakenly gave him a chocolate bar with milk in it, an inquest heard today.

Raffi Pownall became sick after eating four chunks of Morrisons chocolate, which dad Thomas Pownall thought was part of the store’s “free from” range.

Raffi Pownall, 11, died after eating the chocolate bar

As the boy was throwing up Mr Pownall looked at the chocolate bar label again and discovered it was actually a gluten-free bar containing milk powder.

He tried to help his son by giving him his inhaler and EpiPen before calling for an ambulance, Blackburn Coroner’s Court heard.

Raffi was rushed from his home in Burnley to Royal Blackburn Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 5.43pm on June 8 this year.


A post-mortem examination found Raffi died from anaphylaxis, which is a severe and potentially life-threatening reaction to a trigger such as an allergy.

The court heard Mr Pownall “genuinely” believed the bar was free from dairy and that he “did everything he could” to save his son.

Coroner Richard Taylor, recording a conclusion of accidental death, gave an account of what happened on June 8.

His father grabbed his inhaler and EpiPen but it was clear they were not working and the emergency services were called.


He said: “His father went to have a look at the chocolate bar again and checked the ingredients and found that it wasn’t in fact free from dairy, but contained milk powder as it was a gluten-free bar.

“He explained that Raffi had previously vomited on occasions when he’d drank milk and then recovered.

“But this time he was sick and became hot.


“His father grabbed his inhaler and EpiPen but it was clear they were not working and the emergency services were called.

“Mr Pownall did everything he could to save his son but he was taken from his home in Burnley, to Royal Blackburn Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 5.43pm.”

Mr Taylor said: “I record a conclusion that this was an accidental death, having inadvertently ingested a small piece of chocolate containing milk powder that was believed to be ‘free from’.”

A Morrisons spokesman said today: “Our deepest sympathies are with Raffi’s family at this difficult time.”

Following Raffi’s death, tributes poured in for the schoolboy, who was described by teachers as a “lovely boy who was a pleasure to teach and would be missed dearly”.

A family friend wrote on Facebook that he was a “beautiful child, full of life, intelligent and superseding his age”.

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