Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Boy who died in Rotherham canal 'was pushed in'

Subhaan Ali Image copyright South Yorkshire Police
Image caption Subhaan Ali's body was recovered four hours after he was seen going into the water

The mother of an 11-year-old boy who drowned in a canal has told an inquest she believes her son was pushed in.

Subhaan Ali, 11, died in the canal near Parkgate in Rotherham in July.

His mother said she believed he had been bullied by a group of children in the area. However, other children he was with told police he jumped in of his own accord.

The inquest at Doncaster Coroner's Court was adjourned because the coroner has found the evidence inconsistent.

Coroner Nicola Mundy said she would be asking South Yorkshire Police why the incident was not deemed suspicious.

Image copyright Terry Robinson
Image caption A bridge crosses the canal near Parkgate in Rotherham

Zaura Ali said her son was scared of water and would never have jumped in the canal of his own accord.

She told the court Subhaan could not swim well and only ever stayed in the shallow end at the swimming pool.

She said: "My son's death has devastated my life, which is over.

"I believe he must have been pushed. I will never accept he went into the water on his own."

Subhaan disappeared after entering the canal at Stone Row Way on 21 July.

His body was recovered after four hours, following a large search operation which included South Yorkshire Police and South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue.

'Ran fast, jumped high'

Statements by two boys who were with Subhaan gave differing account of events, but agreed he jumped in without force or coercion.

A police statement by Det Con Simon Taylor said one of the youngsters said: "He ran right fast, jumped high and landed in the middle of the canal."

He added: "[The boy] reiterated that no-one had pushed Subhaan into the water."

Both boys described how another boy in the group went into the water before Subhaan.

One said this boy lowered himself into the canal after Subhaan said: "One of you jump in and I'll jump in."

But the other young witness said in his statement that this other boy was pushed by another of the group.

After hearing evidence from South Yorkshire Police officers, Ms Mundy said "there were sufficient inconsistencies in evidence that warranted further investigation".

The coroner said she would write write to police about why the incident was deemed not suspicious. She said while it may not change the outcome of the inquest, she needed answers.

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