Teen said he meant no harm throwing cheese that led to death of classmate

A teenage student who threw cheese at his classmate who had a severe dairy allergy and later died, did not mean to hurt him, an inquest has heard.

Karanbir Cheema, 13, died after suffering a reaction to the dairy product, which landed on his neck during a school break in west London on June 28, 2017.

The William Perkin Church of England High School student was rushed to hospital in a life-threatening condition and died 11 days later.

The cheese thrower, who could not be named, described his actions as “immature behaviour”, telling Poplar Coroner’s Court he had no other explanation for the act, BBC reported.

The court heard the teen had no specific target in mind when he threw the cheese, which he was given by a friend.

He said he was not aware his classmate was allergic to cheese, telling the court after throwing the piece of food, Karanbir told him: “I am allergic to cheese”.

Karanbir Cheema, 13, died after a classmate threw cheese on him on June 28, 2017. Source: Google Maps
Karanbir Cheema, 13, died at a London school after a classmate threw cheese on him in 2017. Source: Google Maps

“I apologised and went to class after,” he told the court, according to the BBC.

The teen said he didn’t realise the severity of Karanbir’s allergies, saying: “I didn't mean to hurt him and obviously I feel bad now”.

Karanbir’s mother, Rina, revealed in a statement her son was always diligent about managing his allergies.

She also explained a consultant at the hospital questioned the cheese had only come in contact with his skin, as that normally wouldn’t cause such a strong reaction.

The inquest is continuing.

Found in a state of anaphylactic shock

On the day of the incident emergency services had found the boy was in a state of anaphylactic shock when they first arrived at the school, the court was told last year.

Kieran Oppatt, the first paramedic on the scene, said a member of staff told him someone may have chased the teenager with the cheese before throwing it down his shirt.

Mr Oppatt said he was struggling for air and appeared to be showing signs of an allergic reaction.

Karanbir Cheema died of an allergic reaction to cheese. Source: SWNS
Karanbir Cheema died of an allergic reaction to cheese. Source: SWNS

“His skin was red and there appeared to be hives,” he said.

The boy had severe allergies to wheat, gluten, all dairy products, eggs and all nuts.

Mr Oppatt and his colleague performed CPR on Karanbir before giving him adrenaline.

While waiting for further medics to arrive, they also used defibrillators in a bid to save him.

He was rushed to hospital but died over a week later on July 9.

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