AN 11-year-old boy with several allergies, including dairy, died after eating a Morrisons chocolate bar given to him by his father, who believed it to be free from milk products.

On Saturday June 8, Thomas Pownall gave his son, Raffi Ahmed Pownall, about four chunks of chocolate in a bowl, thinking the Morrisons own brand bar was part of the ‘free from’ range.

An inquest in Blackburn heard that Raffi, who also suffered from asthma and eczema, became immediately distressed and began throwing up and asked for his inhaler.

Coroner Richard Taylor 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 Marsden Road, Burnley, to Royal Blackburn Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 5.43pm.”

Mr Taylor told the inquest that following a post-mortem examination, doctors confirmed that Raffi had died of anaphylaxis, secondary to the ingestion of milk-containing food, which was made worse by his asthma.

Raffi’s parents were not present at the inquest but in a statement read out by Mr Taylor, his father, Thomas Pownall, he said he genuinely believed the chocolate bar was free from dairy.

Mr Taylor said: “Tragically it wasn’t, so I record a conclusion that this was an accidental death and Raffi Ahmed Pownall who suffered from a dairy allergy died at Royal Blackburn Hospital on June 8, having inadvertently ingested a small piece of chocolate containing milk powder that was believed to be ‘free from’.”

Following Raffi’s death, tributes poured in for the Burnley 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’.

Morrisons were contacted for a statement and a spokesperson for the supermarket chain said: “Our deepest sympathies are with Raffi’s family at this difficult time.”