September 19, 2020


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1B693F6F000005DC-2894244-Matthew_and_Hope_Defoe_said_they_were_encouraged_by_the_verdict-m-46_1420195164998 By Francesca Infante From Daily Mail UK

died after jumping into swimming pool at St Lucia hotel

The 20-year-old’s heart stopped after being electrocuted, inquest heard

Caribbean magistrates have ruled the student was unlawfully killed

Hannah Defoe, 20, died in the swimming pool of a St Lucia hotel in July 2012

An England footballer’s cousin who was electrocuted in a Caribbean hotel swimming pool died as a result of manslaughter, an inquest has concluded.

Hannah Defoe, 20, was staying at Juliette’s Lodge hotel, St Lucia, in July 1B688DE6000005DC-2894244-The_student_died_three_weeks_before_her_21st_birthday-a-47_14201951790302012 when the tragedy happened.

, a cousin of former Tottenham Hotspur striker Jermain Defoe, who now plays for Toronto FC in Canada, had dived into the pool – but then suddenly called out and disappeared beneath the water.

The inquest in St Lucia heard that it was not known how the water had become live but nobody was able to enter the pool to save Miss Defoe without being electrocuted themselves.

Giving evidence to the inquest via video link in November, her aunt Janet Defoe, who was on holiday with her niece at the time, told the inquest jury that Hannah had been swimming in the pool when suddenly she called and sank beneath the water.

03663E5400000514-2894244-Hannah_Defoe_20_died_in_the_swimming_pool_of_a_St_Lucia_hotel_in-a-49_1420195195640She told of repeated attempts to rescue her niece from the pool – but the water was inexplicably live and no one was able to enter it to save her without themselves suffering electric shocks.

Reading from her witness statement she told the jury and Magistrate Robert Innocent: ‘I ran to the pool and when I got there I saw Hannah’s body stretched out at the bottom of the pool. I jumped into the pool to rescue her.

‘As soon as I jumped in I felt a fuzzy feeling over my whole body.’

The inquest in Vieux Fort, St. Lucia started in February 2014 and has taken almost a year to hear evidence from all parties concerned with the tragedy.

The jury returned a verdict of manslaughter. It is not yet known whether 067DFC7E00000514-2894244-image-a-50_1420195335416proceedings will now take place against the resort.

A British inquest into Miss Defoe’s death has been repeatedly postponed while the authorities waited for the inquest to conclude – and can now resume.

Jermaine Defoe, who played for Tottenham Hotspur FC at the time, returned from team’s pre-season tour of America following his cousin’s death

246040D500000578-2894244-image-a-59_1420196358392It is not known what caused the water in the pool at Juliette’s Lodge in Vieux Fort to be live

Miss Defoe was staying at the hotel in St Lucia (above) with her family at the time of her death

The student died three weeks before her 21st birthday

Matthew and said they were encouraged by the verdict

2460416000000578-2894244-image-a-58_1420196334894The 20-year-old’s parents, Matthew and Hope Defoe (right), said they were encouraged by the verdict

Hope Defoe, Hannah’s mother, said: ‘We are very encouraged by this verdict as we were beginning to feel that it was all a charade.

‘We are very hopeful that criminal proceedings will follow but have been warned that this could take years.’

Miss Defoe’s family want key reports and witness statements to be considered by the UK inquest, which are believed to contain criticisms of electrical installations and safety checks.

An preliminary inquest hearing in the UK was told that the water in the pool registered 180 volts when tested the day after the incident.

Miss Defoe, who was a performing arts student at the Performers College, Essex, died three weeks before her 21st birthday.

She was on holiday with her family as a reward for her hard work in the first year of her course.

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