THE DEVASTATED parents of a popular Solihull student who died tragically in a late night drinking game at university have paid tribute to their son.
Ennio and Joan Venezia, of Blossomfield Road, whose 19-year-old son Jason died from acute alcohol poisoning on May 13 this year, said he was a "warm, kind and loving son that we are very proud of."
An inquest into his death was held on Monday afternoon at Coventry Coroner's Court where Coroner Sean McGovern, presiding over the case, recorded a verdict of death by misadventure.
Jason was studying psychology at Warwick University and died at Claycroft hall of residence in May after he drank half a litre of vodka in just 20 minutes in a bid to win a bet of £40 with his friends.
Coventry Coroner's Court heard how the teenager had to be carried to his room after he drank more than 15 shots of the spirit and was unable to stand or speak properly.
His friends left him in the recovery position and initially checked on him every 15 minutes but he he later died from misuse of alcohol.
Mrs Venezia said: "Jason never gave us any problems as he was growing up. We regarded him as very level-headed. At school he excelled academically but more importantly he cared deeply about the plight of others and involved himself in charity work."
"University staff have described him as an able, conscientious, appreciative and dedicated student who was reliable and polite, someone you'd like to know. Jason had many good friends with whom he shared his interests - football, squash, guitar playing and music generally with music festivals being the highlight of his year. He had a happy disposition, led a balanced life and was enjoying his first year at university very much."
Both Jason's parents say they do not want other parents to go through the horrific nightmare they have gone through with their son's death.
They are calling for a radical rethink of the drinking game culture among university students and want to see the legal age of drinking rise from 18 to 21 and also regular campaigns on campuses to teach students about the short term and long term dangers of alcohol poisoning.
Mrs Venezia added: "The manner in which Jason died comes as a terrible shock. While We do not blame anyone in particular, we do feel that there is an issue surrounding the heavy drinking culture within university life which needs to be addressed. Students need to know that their drinking games can lead to sudden death."