Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Portsmouth five-a-side player 'electrocuted by floodlight'

Albert Xhediku Image copyright Albert Xhediku
Image caption Taxi driver Albert Xhediku was playing five-a-side football with friends before the fatal electric shock

A man was electrocuted by a floodlight while retrieving a football at a leisure centre sports pitch, an inquest has heard.

Albert Xhediku, 34, was pronounced dead in hospital after getting an electric shock at the Mountbatten Centre, Portsmouth, in January 2016.

The hearing was told a broken conduit box and switches had been "taped up".

Two other people had previously reported suffering electric shocks from the equipment, an inquest jury heard.

Portsmouth assistant coroner Lincoln Brookes said taxi driver Mr Xhediku was playing five-a-side football with friends on 17 January.

Image caption Emergency services were called to the leisure centre after the fatal shock in 2016

The ball had gone out of play and collecting it involved climbing a fence because a gate to that area was locked.

Mr Brookes told jurors: "On his return he touched a floodlight and its post and in doing so received a fatal shock.

"Despite the best efforts of friends and the emergency services, he was confirmed dead at the Queen Alexandra Hospital later that evening."

Equipment associated with the floodlight was "in seemingly a very poor state" before the incident, Mr Brookes said.

One of the two people who reported receiving electric shocks before the fatal incident had told a Mountbatten Centre manager in December 2015, Mr Brookes told the jury.

'Lack of maintenance'

Fitim Noka, who was also playing football, told the court he heard his cousin Mr Xhedikhu screaming as he climbed back over the fence.

He said: "It was a scream that you know someone is in a very bad situation."

He said his cousin was stuck between the fence and the floodlight and four people received electric shocks as they pulled him down.

His friends carried out CPR before police and paramedics arrived, Mr Noka said.

Health and Safety Executive inspector Michelle Canning said the mast had become live because of damage caused by it swaying in the wind.

She told the court the fault remained undetected because of "poor installation methods and lack of maintenance".

The leisure complex was managed at the time by Parkwood Community Leisure on behalf of Portsmouth City Council, the court heard.

The inquest, which is due to last eight days, continues.

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