Mya Piper: Death of Darlington girl in Cyprus pool a 'tragic accident'

Mya Piper Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Mya Piper had earlier been playing in a children's pool at the hotel

A mother was distracted by a phone call minutes before her four-year-old daughter was found drowned in a hotel pool in Cyprus, an inquest heard.

Mya Piper, from Darlington, was spotted at the bottom of the 5ft (1.5m) deep pool at the Evalena Hotel in Protaras in June 2014.

The inquest heard her mother Lisa lost sight of her during the five-minute "urgent" call about a UK court case.

Coroner Dr John Hamilton concluded the death was a "tragic accident".

The inquest, at Crook, County Durham, was told holidaymakers tried desperately to save Mya, who was pulled from the bottom of the pool moments after she had been playing safely in a children's pool nearby.

Despite the efforts of an ambulance crew she was pronounced dead.

In a statement read out to the court, Ms Piper said she had been distracted by the call about a court case in which she was a victim.

She said she was on holiday with her sister, brother, father and stepmother as well as Mya and her younger son, arriving the day before the tragedy.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The hotel owner was given a suspended prison sentence for safety failures

Ms Piper said when she could no longer see her daughter she ended the call and started to search for her.

She then saw a woman pulling her daughter out of the adult pool.

She said: "I was in the water as well and that lady handed her to me. She was unconscious."

An ambulance arrived within minutes, but Mya could not be saved.

The inquest heard no lifeguards were on duty.

Hotel owner Andreas Ttofinis, was charged with a safety offence and given a suspended prison sentence and his company fined 3,500 euro (£2,980), following court proceedings in Cyprus.

Coroner Dr John Hamilton said his conclusion was that "this was nothing other than a tragic accident".

He added: "It is every parent and grandparents' nightmare - you take your eye off them for a minute or two and they can be gone."

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