Coroner rules teen's death fall was an accident
A coroner has left open the option to issue a report calling for a council to improve safety of windows after a teenage boy fell to his death.
Southwark Coroners Court heard that Jovannii Peddie, 14, died when he fell from the bedroom of his home in the Missenden Block of the Aylesbury Estate in Walworth, south-east London, on 20 April this year.
Dr Andrew Harris, the coroner, ruled that the tragedy was an accident and that Southwark Council – the landlord for the Peddie family – had not failed in its duty.
However, Dr Harris opened the possibility of a rule 43 report being done by asking the Health and Safety Executive to examine the evidence.
Rule 43 provides coroners with the power to make reports to a person or organisation where the coroner believes that action should be taken to prevent future deaths.
A decision on whether or not the coroner will conduct a rule 43 report is expected to be made in the near future.
Dr Harris said: ‘Jovannii fell from the window of his bedroom on the sixth floor of the council estate suffering multiple injuries and died instantly on landing on the first floor balcony.
‘There is no evidence of taken life as a deliberate action, by third party or breach of duty of the landlord.’
The coroner also said the release mechanism for the window’s safety catch was an ‘acceptable risk’.
Ian Wingfield, deputy leader of Southwark Council and cabinet member for housing, said: ‘This is a tragic case and our thoughts are with the family.
‘The coroner returned the verdict that that Jovannii died accidentally, that there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death and the council did not breach its obligations, or fail in its duty as a landlord.
‘We welcome the coroner’s findings and will respond to any recommendations made to the council and we will continue to assist the family in any way we can.’