This week 30 years ago: Police blame shopkeepers for Homerton solvent sniffer’s death

August 5, 1988 edition of the Hackney Gazette.

August 5, 1988 edition of the Hackney Gazette. - Credit: Archant

Police blamed greedy shopkeepers for the death of 16-year-old solvent sniffer Calvin Radleigh, and set up a special hotline to trap them.

Calvin, of Churchill Walk, Homerton, collapsed and died in front of friends outside Homerton House School after sniffing a lethal dose.

And police hit out at traders selling large quantities of lighter fluid, aersoal sprays and correction fluid.

Insp Tom Lund-Lack said: “These shopkeepers are responsible, at least in part, for this young man’s death.

“Shopkeepers who sell several years’ supply of correction fluid to a youngster must know they are planning to sniff it.”

Cops wanted people to call the hotline and report shopkeepers.

Meanwhile, health chiefs ordered medical checks for youngsters and staff at Clapton Park nursery after the matron was found to have tuberculosis. Four kids were found to have been exposed to the virus, though nobody had shown signs of contracting the highly-infectious disease.