A coroner has concluded that a 12-year-old schoolgirl’s death by drowning was an accident.
The body of Shukri Abdi, who first came to the UK in January 2017, was found in the River Irwell in Bury, Greater Manchester on 27 June 2019. A group of children were with her at the river in the period before she died.
The children connected with the case can be referred to only as Child One, Child Two, Child Three, Child Four and Child Five.
Lawyers for the family argued that the senior coroner for Manchester north, Joanne Kearsley, should consider a conclusion of unlawful killing based on the actions of one of the children.
However, the coroner rejected this. “There is absolutely no evidence before the court that Child One had any intention to kill Shukri,” she said. She said Child One had breached a duty of care and made a serious error of judgment.
In a 37-page ruling, the coroner said that on the balance of probabilities, Shukri’s death was accidental. She said the child Shukri entered the water with was aware Shukri could not swim. In an area of deeper water that child started to swim underwater and Shukri panicked, the other child struggled to swim and probably pushed Shukri off at which point Shukri went under water.
The coroner said she planned to write to the chief constable of Greater Manchester recommending a commendation for two of the children – Child Three and Child Four, who tried to save Shukri’s life.