Witness says alleged abuse came from girl who went with Shukri Abdi to river in Bury
A child at the same school as a 12-year-old Somali refugee who drowned told an inquest on Tuesday that hours before her death the girl had been “pushed around” by one of the children who went with her to the river.
The body of Shukri Abdi, who first came to the UK in January 2017, was found in the River Irwell in Bury, Lancashire in June 2019. A group of children were with her at the river in the period before she died.
The children connected with the case can be referred to only as Child One, Child Two, Child Three, Child Four and Child Five.
Video evidence from Child Five was played at an inquest into Shukri’s death in Heywood, Lancashire.
They described witnessing Shukri at Broad Oak school in Bury, which Shukri, Child One and Child Two attended, at the end of the school day at 3.20pm. The child said that Shukri was approached in the locker room by Child One and Child Two.
The witness said that the physical approach was from Child One who “started pushing her around” and then told Shukri to get changed.
The witness said they believed Shukri was preparing for a 200m race at an athletics competition the following week.
Following the incident Child Five said in video evidence that another girl in the locker room who witnessed the incident said: “That was a bit nasty.”
Child Five said that the atmosphere in the changing room had been one of laughing and joking until child one and child two came in. Child Five initially said Shukri had been pushed around then said it was “not fully like pushed” but that child one “barged” Shukri and took hold of her shoulders.
Child Five said that Child Two told Shukri that they had been looking everywhere for her and were going to go to her house to look for her.
Child Five added that most of the contact came from Child One and said that Shukri did not respond and was putting things in her bag. “I felt they were being horrible,” said Child Five, before saying that Shukri didn’t respond to the comments from Child One and Child Two and kept looking at the wall.
“I think she was feeling a bit worried, scared, not proper like really scared just a bit because of the way she reacted. Normally she was happy,” said Child Five.
“It was all laughing and jokes but as soon as Child One came in it was just silent,” said Child Five.
A Home Office pathologist, Prof Philip Lumb, confirmed to the court today that the cause of Shukri’s death was drowning.
Shukri came to the UK with her mother and four siblings after they fled conflict in Somalia. Shukri was born and brought up in a refugee camp in Kenya. She and her family were brought to the UK as part of the vulnerable persons resettlement scheme in which refugees are vetted by the UN. Only the most vulnerable individuals and families are accepted on to the scheme after vetting.
On Monday the inquest heard that after Shukri’s death Child One claimed to have told her: “If you don’t get into the water I’m going to kill you.”
The case continues.
Source: The Guardian