BREAKING NEWS: St Lucian inquest hears from relatives of Hannah Defoe

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BREAKING NEWS: St Lucian inquest hears from relatives of Hannah Defoe
Hannah Defoe, a talented dancer who studied at a performing arts college in Essex, was on a three-week trip to the Caribbean island to celebrate her 21st birthday when she was electrocuted after diving into her hotel’s swimming pool, according to reports.
Hannah Defoe, a talented dancer who studied at a performing arts college in Essex, was on a three-week trip to the Caribbean island to celebrate her 21st birthday when she was electrocuted after diving into her hotel’s swimming pool, according to reports.

(NORTH LONDON PRESS) – The aunt of Hannah Defoe had to be rushed to hospital after suffering a series of electric shocks when she leapt into a swimming pool in a bid to save her niece, an inquest heard yesterday.

Student Hannah Defoe, 20, of Winchmore Hill, died on the second day of a holiday to the paradise island of St Lucia after jumping into a hotel swimming pool that had a live electric current surging through it.

Giving evidence via a video link at West London Coroner’s Court in Bagleys Lane, Fulham, to the inquest in Vieux Fort, St Lucia, Hannah’s aunt, Janet Defoe, who had travelled to the island with her, told Magistrate Robert Innocent of her desperate bids to rescue her niece.

She told the inquest she had arrived on the island on July 24, the day before Hannah’s death, and was staying in Juliette’s Lodge Hotel, in Vieux Fort, in the South of the island with Hannah and her 17-year-old daughter.

Reading from the witness statement she had made in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy Ms Defoe said that when a family friend rushed to find her and told her that Hannah was in the swimming pool she ran outside.

“I ran to the pool and when I got there I saw Hannah’s body stretched out at the bottom of the pool. I jumped into the pool to rescue her.

As soon as I jumped in I felt a fuzzy feeling over my whole body,” she told Magistrate Innocent.

She explained that she was able to reach a hand out of the water and someone pulled her from the pool.

“I saw a metal pole on the floor. I took the pole and tried to move her. But when I put the pole inside the pool I got an electric shock.

When I put my hand into the water I also got a shock,” she added.

Continuing to read from her statement she said that she could not remember who had called the ambulance, but did remember she was transported to hospital alongside a man who had also tried to rescue her niece, but who had also been electrocuted in the attempt.

Hannah’s mother Hope Defoe gave evidence via videolink this afternoon.
Although she was not on the island at the time of her daughter’s death, the St Lucian inquest requested she read out the witness statement she had given when she arrived on the island in the days after her daughter’s death.

Overcome with emotion at the memory Mrs Defoe wept as she read from her statement.

“I identified the dead body of my daughter,” she said.

The inquest in St Lucia has been beset by delays since it was convened earlier this year.

However, Hope and Janet were the last witnesses to give evidence to the inquest and it is expected to conclude with the month.

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13 COMMENTS

  1. This is so heartbreaking for my dear cousins, their lives have been ruined, things have not and will never be the same again. The death and tragic loss of our precious Hannah is too much, get your act together, we need closure.

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  2. I just don't understand how this could have happened, obviously down to negligence of hotel. They should be sued, this was a needless tragedy. Wishing her poor family peace

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  3. I beg to defer Tina. It doesn't matter what policies or warnings were in place at the time. That pool presented a real danger to everyone in the vicinity. Therefore, the owners should have taken extra precaution(s) to stop anyone getting into that pool.The hotel was negligent. Implementing extra precautions, such as posting a security guard near the pool would have prevented this awful tragedy. I hope this inquest reveals the truth about what happened on that terrible day, so that the Defoe family could get some form of closure. I still have some faith in the Criminal Justice system. Hannah RIP.

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  4. very sad moment. i do not wish this on any family. but will like to say that we fail to comply with policy when told the do,s and the don't when we feel we are paying our money. the hotel gave specific times as to when the pool is in use and when not to. we from large island should try and go by policies when travelling to other countries to avoid such pain.It is like blanking a sign which says do not swim in this area due to high current. many people has lost their lives due to ignoring such laws or policy. again sorry for the lost of this family

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  5. This is so sad. almost brought tears to my eyes. But this is St. Lucia where much importance is given to carnival, bachannal and partying whilst all other systems continue to collapse.

    Victoria lost electricity for FOUR hours two days ago. We heard a whole heap from the chief casualty officer Dr. Lisa Charles and the chief executive officer of the hospital but importantly not one of them touched on whether Victoria has a standby generator and if so why it did not automatically come on.

    It probably was either inoperative or in a poorly maintained condition

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  6. Sad story.Just too much tragedy has struck this family. We'll miss you cuz. See Hanna's family roots here:
    www.georgedefoe.tribalpages.com

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  7. It is so sad I feel for the family it is about St.Lucians stand up for their rights the hotel should be sued by the family Lucia wake up it is about time that people start to sue in St. Lucia in America they will be sued money cannot bring her back but that way they will be more .
    responsible anb carefull sad

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  8. SUE THE HOTEL. I JUST HOPE THE THEY EH FILE BANKRUPCY TO INORDER TO AVOID PAYMENT. GOOD LUCK AND MAY JUSTICE PREVAIL. MAY SHE REST IN PERFECT PEACE.GONE TO SOON

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  9. Such a sad story. Why put the family through all of that. Just deal with the fact that the Hotel was negligent and let them pay the family for their loss.

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  10. Touching.. I got goosebumps. Sad how someone can die like tht. My condolences to the family.. Negligence on the hotel's part. They should be sued. People need to wake up!!!

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