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Family of James Atkinson pay tribute to him on opening day of inquest into his death

The parents of 23-year-old former Newcastle University student James Atkinson read a heartfelt tribute to their son at the first day of the inquest into his death after he suffered an allergic reaction to a takeaway pizza.

Posted on 09 January 2024

At Newcastle Coroners’ Court, Stuart and Jill Atkinson said the loss of James had left an insurmountable hole in their hearts.
The inquest into James’ death is being held in Newcastle after James, who grew up in Leeds, died suddenly on 10 July 2020 after ordering a takeaway pizza via the Deliveroo app from the Dadyal Restaurant in Newcastle.

James Atkinson. 
James had a known peanut allergy, and it is believed he suffered a severe allergic reaction after eating pizza which was part of the order. He was rushed to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle where he died.
James had moved to Newcastle to study computer science at Newcastle University. After graduating he remained in the city where he worked and lived with friends.
James’ parents, Jill and Stuart Atkinson, who live in Leeds, are hoping that any lessons which may be learned from the inquest into the circumstances around his death, especially in relation to the way that people order food online, will be used to better protect other allergy sufferers.

James Atkinson.
The family’s pen portrait of James:
James Stuart Atkinson was born on the 21 October 1996 at 10:30pm and we knew from that moment that our family was complete.
He was a happy, bubbly blonde haired little boy who brought sunshine and happiness wherever he went. 
James, from an early age, loved the seaside, climbing and trying any activity he could. From Akido and golf to rugby, cycling and outdoor adventures. 
He loved school, attending Green Lane Primary School, Garforth Community College before finally completing his education at Newcastle University where he received a 2:1 in Computer Science. 
He formed firm friendships and made Newcastle his home.  He found his dream job in computer programming where we told "he brought the biggest ray of sunshine into the office and brightened everyone's day". 
James had a gift of making others happy, checking in on friends and offering support when needed. To be in his company with his amazing sense of humour and infectious laugh was a privilege. First on the dance floor and last to leave James lived life to its fullest but also had a sensitive and thoughtful side.  
His whole family meant the world to him. He was loving, kind and caring. 
James' sudden death has left an insurmountable hole in our hearts. 
He had his whole life ahead of him full of future plans and dreams that will not be realised or witnessed by his family.  
No more memories to make.
We were blessed to have him for the 23 years that we did. He is irreplaceable. However, to honour him we hold a forever space in our hearts and carry him with us always - our beautiful boy James.  

Pen portrait of James Atkinson by his parents.

James’ family are represented by partners at law firm Leigh Day, Jill Paterson and Thomas Jervis. The family have instructed barristers Craig Hassall KC, Janine Wolstenhome and Helena Spector from Park Square Barristers Chambers.
The inquest is scheduled to last up to two weeks. 
The family are crowdfunding to fund the inquest costs.

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