Man, 25, arrested after schoolboy, 11, dies in ‘TikTok craze gone wrong’ leaving family ‘utterly devastated’

A MAN, 25, has been arrested after an 11-year-old schoolboy died in a ‘TikTok craze’ gone wrong.

Tommie-lee Gracie Billington tragically lost his life during a sleepover at his friend’s house on March 2.


Tommie-lee Gracie Billington passed away in March this year after a ‘TikTok craze went wrong’

An inquest previously heard the youngster lost consciousness at the home in Lancaster after “inhaling toxic substances”.

He went into cardiac arrest in front of his pals and passed away a short while after being rushed to hospital.

He had a heart of gold just like his dad. Our family is utterly devastated

Tina BurnsTommie-lee’s grandmum

The deadly TikTok ‘trend’ involved inhaling substances that slow down brain activity and can lead to dizziness, hallucinations, nausea and disorientation.

It can also cause a heart attack or suffocation.

Lancashire Police have now confirmed they arrested a 25-year-old man, from Lancaster, on suspicion of child cruelty, neglect, possession with intent to supply a drug and money laundering.

He has been released on bail while their enquiries are ongoing.

A woman, 35, was also interviewed voluntarily in the investigation in relation to an allegation of possession with intent to supply.

She has been released under investigation.

Tommie-lee’s devastated grandmum Tina Burns spoke out after the tragedy.

She said: “He had a heart of gold just like his dad. Our family is utterly devastated.

“He died instantly after a sleepover at a friend’s house.

“Tommie-Lee went into cardiac arrest immediately and died right there and then.

“The hospital did everything to try and bring him back but nothing worked. He was gone.”

The teaching assistant added: “Both our families are utterly devastated but we all want the same thing.

“We don’t want any other children to follow TikTok or be on social media.

“In fact, we want to get TikTok taken down and no children to be allowed on any social media under 16 years of age.


Internet expert Allison Troutner listed eight ways to keep kids safe online:

  1. Consider a family “tech agreement”
  2. Report any harmful content that you see
  3. Balance safety with independence
  4. Keep the computer in a common space
  5. Password-protect all accounts and devices
  6. Update your operating systems regularly
  7. Install security or antivirus software programs and a VPN on your computer
  8. Set parental controls

Find out more about each step in this article by The Sun.

“This is breaking us all but we want to help save other children’s lives and give families awareness to keep their children safe.

“I have had so many messages from parents thanking me for making them aware.

“One person said that she had no idea about these social media crazes and that her children happily stay in their rooms on TikTok.

“She never knew there were things like this on it.

“She has now removed all social media from their devices and is so grateful that we are openly talking about it.

“I am a teaching assistant and work in year five and six.

“I have been open and honest with my headteacher so that we can get this important message out to all schools too.”


Tommie-Lee’s mum Sherri also issued a stark warning to parents.

In a heartbreaking tribute on Facebook she wrote: “As much as I hate talking about it, I need to raise awareness of what kids are trying nowadays.

“This cost my son his life from trying something other kids are doing.

“They are using this and breathing them in to try get a buzz.

“It is beyond me why anyone would even try this. It’s so dangerous.

“Tommie had stayed over at a friends and was inhaling this with his friend which cost him his poor, young life.

Read more on the Scottish Sun

“Please talk to your children about the consequences of this, I have no idea how this even came about for children to try.”

TikTok was contacted for comment.

Tommie-Lee, pictured with his dad, was found unresponsive


Tommie-Lee, pictured with his dad, was found unresponsive
His nan has been left heartbroken by the youngster's death


His nan has been left heartbroken by the youngster’s death

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