Norfolk

Bawsey Pits death inquest: Teenager who drowned was at care home

Bawsey Pits
Image caption Umar Balogun was taken to Bawsey Pits by two residential care workers, the inquest in Norwich heard

A teenager who drowned after swimming in a quarry lake at a beauty spot was being looked after by a private care firm, an inquest in Norwich has heard.

Umar Balogun, 16, of Waltham Forest, London. died at Bawsey Pits, near King's Lynn, Norfolk, on 16 July 2013.

The inquest heard that Umar had been tagged under a court order and was being cared for at a Castle Homes' centre in Cambridgeshire.

Umar and another boy had been taken to Bawsey by two care home workers.

Senior residential care worker Sue Neve told the inquest jury that one of the care home workers, Kevin Roweth, suggested the visit to Bawsey.

'Hiking trip'

She said Mr Roweth had said the trip would be a "hiking" trip and no mention was made of swimming.

"When Kevin described the area to me, he did not mention swimming there," said Mrs Neve.

She said Umar was carrying a red towel when he left. "I asked him why he was taking it. He just flicked it and walked out of the door," said Mrs Neve.

Mr Roweth is expected to give evidence on Tuesday. The inquest is due to finish on Friday.

When Umar went missing, a major search and rescue operation was started by the emergency services.

A post-mortem examination carried out on Umar confirmed the cause of death as drowning.

Swimming in the lakes, which are deep and thick with undergrowth, is banned, but the warning signs are ignored by many people.

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