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Drayton Manor schoolgirl inquest adjourned for nine months

Staffordshire | News | Published:

An inquest into the death of a schoolgirl who fell from a theme park water ride has been adjourned for a further nine months.

Evha Jannath was aged 11 when she died

The family of Evha Jannath welcomed plans to hold a full inquest into the 11-year-old's death in November this year, after hearing that an "exhaustive" police and Health and Safety Executive inquiry has been conducted.

Evha, who was on a school trip from Leicester's Jameah Girls Academy, died after suffering chest injuries at Drayton Manor Theme Park near Tamworth in May 2017.

A police car in the theme park in the wake of the incident

Evha's brother, 21-year-old Muhammed Islam, attended a pre-inquest hearing in Cannock today with his barrister and Leicester East MP Keith Vaz, who was present to support the family.

Anguish

Speaking after the 40-minute hearing, Mr Vaz told reporters: "It's been very frustrating for the family. Their anguish is something that I have witnessed over the last two years.

"What they need to know is the facts of what happened at the ride. We welcome the pre-inquest hearing today - we asked for it to set a timetable for the final inquest.

WATCH Keith Vaz speaks outside court:

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Drayton Manor inquest: MP Keith Vaz speaks outside court

"There isn't a single day that the family does not think of their daughter, granddaughter and sister. It's been absolutely devastating."

Commenting on the decision to provisionally list the full inquest for a week-long hearing starting on November 4, Mr Vaz added: "This is still a very long time ahead but the family appreciates that there has to be legal proceedings and other issues that need to be addressed.

An aerial view of Drayton Manor

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"You do not expect when you send your 11-year-old child for a fun day out with the school... that that little girl will never come back again. It is not in anyone's expectations.

"So they are never going to overcome that, it's terrible for them. And their grief is something that they will live with forever. But what we need is the facts and now we have a timetable. That's a good way forward."

Jury inquest

Asked what the family hoped to get out of the inquest, Mr Vaz said: "None of us were there. We have been to visit Drayton Manor but none of us were there on the day.

"So hearing from the people who work there, hearing from the children who were with Evha, hearing from the staff who were there, in whatever form, is going to be very, very important."

November's inquest is likely to be heard before a jury in Stafford, assistant coroner Margaret Jones has said.

The pre-inquest hearing was told that Drayton Manor's Splash Canyon ride remains closed after the death.

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