Girl, 12, who drowned in river died in tragic accident, inquest rules

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An inquest into the drowning of a 12-year-old girl in Bury has recorded a conclusion of accidental death.

Tragic Shukri Abdi was with four other children when she drowned in the River Irwell during a heatwave in July last year.

One of the children, known throughout the inquest as Child One, encouraged Shukri – who arrived in the UK as a refugee from Somalia – to go into the water despite knowing she couldn’t swim, the inquest heard.

Child One told Shukri she would look after her and would teach her to swim.

Today coroner Joanne Kearsley ruled that Child One had a duty of care to Shukri and breached that duty because she should have been able to foresee the risk of drowning.

But that breach, Ms Kearsley said, wasn’t serious enough to warrant a conclusion of gross negligence manslaughter.

Ms Kearsley said Child One was “naive and foolish” and her “ill considered” attempt to teach Shukri to swim went ‘badly wrong’.

Ms Kearsley added: “At it highest this was a serious error of judgement. I am certain the ramifications will be felt by many for a long time.”

Ms Kearsley said that on the “balance of probabilities” Shukri died as a result of an accident.