A coroner has adjourned an inquest into death of a bullied 11-year-old boy who drowned in a South Yorkshire canal due to ‘sufficient inconsistencies in evidence’.
The mother of Subhaan Ali who died in the South Yorkshire Navigation Canal believes he could have been pushed to his death, the inquest heard. Subhaan, of Eastwood, Rotherham, was pronounced dead at 10.45pm on July 21 last year after being pulled from the Sheffield and South Yorkshire Navigation Canal near Retail World, Parkgate, Rotherham. During his inquest at Doncaster Crown Court, DC Simon Taylor, of South Yorkshire Police, read out two witness accounts from children who were with Subhaan at the time of his death. The boys, who cannot be named for legal reasons, say Subhaan took a running jump into the canal which is near his home, and that it was his idea to do so. But his mother, Zaura Ali, told the inquest her son had been bullied by boys who lived in the area in the weeks leading up to his death.
She also explained he was a weak swimmer and would not jump in the water by choice.
In a statement read out to the court, his mother said: “Everyone was saying he was pushed. There was a lot of rumours. My instinct was saying they pushed him. My son was drowned and he is not going to come back.” Mrs Ali said Subhaan could not swim well – only ever staying in the shallow end at the swimming pool – and was scared of water. In a statement read to the court, she said: “My son’s death has devastated my life, which is over.” She said: “I believe he must have been pushed,” adding: “I will never accept he went into the water on his own.” Statements made by two boys who were with him were read to coroner Nicola Mundy. The boys gave differing account of events leading up to Subhaan going into the water but agreed that he ran and jumped in without any force or coercion. In his statement, read by Detective Constable Simon Taylor, one of the youngsters said: “He ran right fast, jumped high and landed in the middle of the canal.” Det Con Taylor told the court: “The boy reiterated that no-one had pushed Subhaan into the water.” Both the 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. The coroner adjourned the inquest for further investigations.