Thursday, 18 September 2014

Inquest into teen's death fall begins

An inquest into the death of a teenage boy who fell from a sixth-floor council flat has begun.

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.

Southwark Crown Court heard today (Tuesday) that the main window in Jovannii’s bedroom had a safety latch which prevented it being opened fully, but the teen knew how to take it off the latch.

Antony Peddie, Jovannii’s father, told the court he frequently spoke to his son about not opening the latch as the teen had a number of younger siblings.

‘On rare occasions he would open it up to see police chasing people or something like that but that did not happen a lot,’ he said.

Mr Peddie told the court that the family never received guidance from Southwark Council on using the window.

Speaking about the day he lost his son, Mr Peddie told the court that he was shaving in the bathroom when he heard a commotion.

He said: ‘I came out and I could hear my wife being hysterical and she just said “the window, the window”. I looked out and saw my son.’

The inquest is due to hear from Southwark Council and architects later on today, but delays mean it may now be put back to tomorrow afternoon.

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.’

Readers' comments (7)

  • With greatest respect to the family in this tragedy, although the family 'did not receive guidance from Southwark Council on using the window' it is clear that Mr Peddie knew what the correct guidance was - and gave it to his family - ie don't open the latch because there are young people in the house'

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  • I thought high up windows had latches which would allow the windows to be open only partially, fitted especially to avoid this kind of tragedies.

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  • F451

    For tenantplus: 'Southwark Crown Court heard today (Tuesday) that the main window in Jovannii’s bedroom had a safety latch which prevented it being opened fully, but the teen knew how to take it off the latch.'

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  • The type I was referring to was tamper-proof. You can't take it off the latch unless you break it or break the window.

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  • There is no legal requirement for window opener restriction, at any height above ground level. The building regualtions do not require it or prohibit it (as fitting window locks and or restrictors does potentially affect using windows for "safe" means of esacpe between ground and first floor levels).

    Most welcome packs do have advice on windows, so check out your organisations now!

    John Bone, MBEng, BSc Hons
    (ex-building control surveyor 1974-2009)&(Risk Risk Assessor 2005-ongoing)

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  • Is there any nationally collected figures for "death of injury from falling out of a window" ?

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  • John Bone | 26/10/2011 11:05 am

    there might be no legal requirement for tamper-proof windows in high rise buildings, but landlords should offer the choice to tenants to have them installed if they feel the need to avoid tragedy.

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