Saturday, 17 May 2014


My question is if they could not swim, what were they doing in the pool?

A HOTEL guest who saw two people drowning in a swimming pool but walked away said he thought they were "joking about" as part of a murder mystery weekend, an inquest heard.
The bodies of Komba Kpakiwa, 31, and his lover, Josephine Foday, 22, were found floating in the indoor pool at the Down Hall Country House Hotel in Essex, in April.

The couple were sharing a room at the four star hotel to celebrate Foday’s birthday.
During the inquest Kpakiwa’s widow Gurpeet Kpakiwa sat silently as she heard the evidence about the death of her husband at Chelmsford Coroner's Court.

There was no family present for Foday, who had been living with her grandmother since arriving in England from her native Sierra Leone in 2001.

The inquest heard that neither of them was able to swim and that the pool was not monitored by lifeguards or security cameras.

According to reports, Marcel Haniff, a hotel guest, found the pair dead.
However, he initially saw them alive "splashing" and "shouting" together in the pool but dismissed it as "horseplay" and returned to the sauna.

During the inquest, he said: "I saw two people in the middle of the pool. There was a lot of splashing going on. They were being very boisterous.
"The gentleman facing me, I could see his head and shoulders. He was shouting 'hey' but it could have been 'help'.
"The lady, whose back was to me, seemed to jump up and put his head underwater. I regret to say I thought they were just joshing about. They seemed to be perfectly healthy – just joking and playing," he said.
The jury heard he later returned to the pool following a short time in the sauna, but despite seeing two bodies floating on the surface he still believed the incident may be all part of a murder mystery weekend stunt.

Haniff added: "There was a murder mystery weekend at the hotel so I thought it may still be a prank.
"Initially I thought they were still playing around but I then realised it was too still and something was seriously wrong.

Haniff then ran towards the reception where he alerted staff.

Paramedics performed CPR on the pair but they were pronounced dead at the scene.
The inquest heard that post mortem examinations were carried out on both victims which gave the same result of deaths "consistent with drowning".

Forensic pathologist, Dr Olaf Biedrzycki, who carried out the post mortem noted a "heavy vomit contamination" and evidence given to him suggested neither victim could swim.
The jury was told a police investigation had ruled out any suspicious circumstances and water tests disproved any suggestion chemical levels in the water could have affected the pair.

Health and safety signs had been placed around the pool warning of its maximum depth of 2.1 metres, but CCTV around the pool had not been working at the time of the incident.

An engineer had been called to fix problems with the CCTV on the morning of the incident – but no temporary measures, such as a lifeguard, were put in place while it was offline.


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