Cambridge-educated anti-vaxxer dies from Covid

 (Leslie Lawrenson/Facebook)
(Leslie Lawrenson/Facebook)

An anti-vaxxer who filmed himself downplaying Covid-19 before posting it on Facebook has died of the virus.

Solicitor Leslie Lawrenson, 58, died at his home in Bournemouth, Dorset, nine days after he published a video on why coronavirus was “nothing to be afraid of.”

Mr Lawrenson, who reportedly had no underlying health conditions, had previously refused to take up the vaccine because he felt he “did not need it.”

Instead he put faith in his immune system and took his social media followers on his journey.

The 58-year-old recorded two vlogs in June, where he explained his symptoms and described them as “no worse than a cold.”

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He later criticised the Government’s approach to the coronavirus restrictions, saying “these are things we have to suffer, it’s part of living”, before urging viewers to “trust” their own immune systems over vaccines.

As his condition worsened, Mr Lawrenson struggled to breath and said he felt pain “everywhere”, but stated he did not feel like he was in any real “danger.”

“I didn’t get the point where I would have had to be hospitalised,” he said.

“Things did get worse, but I am glad I got Covid-19.”

Reacting to his death, Mr Lawrenson’s partner, Amanda Mitchell, who also tested positive with Covid-19 said: “I feel incredibly foolish. Les died unnecessarily.

“Les made a terrible mistake and he’s paid the ultimate price for that.”

Ms Mitchell said her partner, a Cambridge University graduate, decided against having a coronavirus jab after reading material on social media.

She said: “It was a daily thing that he said to us: ‘You don’t need to have it, you’ll be fine, just be careful’.

“Les was highly educated... so if he told me something, I tended to believe it.”

Watch: What UK government COVID-19 support is available?

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