Inquest begins into deaths of Josephine Newham Foday, of Plumstead, and Komba Kpakiwa, from Erith, who were found dead in Essex hotel swimming pool

Komba Kpakiwa and Josephine Newham Foday drowned in a hotel swimming pool

Komba Kpakiwa and Josephine Newham Foday drowned in a hotel swimming pool

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An inquest into the deaths of two people found dead in a hotel swimming pool has heard the pool was not covered by CCTV cameras.

Josephine Foday, aged 22, of Plumstead, and 31-year-old Komba Kpakiwa, from Erith, were found dead at Down Hall Country House Hotel in Essex during the early evening of April 27 last year.

The inquest at County Hall in Chelmsford heard that on the day of the pair's death an engineer had visited the hotel, removing the hard drive from the CCTV camera covering the pool.

Giving evidence, Caroline Burchell, district environmental health officer from Uttlesford District Council, said there were two CCTV cameras covering the swimming pool but that one had been broken for a while.

Mrs Burchell said: "I was aware there wasn't constant supervision although I did not see where the CCTV screens were kept and I had understood there was CCTV supervision of the swimming pool and that in fact, was not the case."

The inquest also heard from Marcel Haniff who found the pair "floating face-down" in the pool.

Mr Haniff told the inquest he was visiting Down Hall with his wife for their 25th wedding anniversary and was making use of the hotel's sauna when he heard "a lot of noise" coming from the pool and went to investigate.

He told the inquest he believed the pair were "mucking about" and had returned to the sauna.

Mr Haniff told the inquest he could see one of the pair "with his hands on the other's shoulders, pushing him gently down into the water."

He said: "He was shouting 'hey' but it could have been help.

"I thought they were joshing about."

On leaving the sauna, Mr Haniff noticed the two lying face-down in the pool and raised the alarm with hotel staff.

Mr Haniff added: "I thought they were mucking about - two or three more steps then I realised something was seriously wrong.

"I wish I'd another stayed 10 seconds before going back into the sauna and drawn another conclusion."

Pathologist Dr Bierdrzycki told the inquest neither of the pair could swim and said that a post-mortem examination held at Broomfield Hospital showed both had injuries "consistent with drowning."

The inquest also heard there was no trace of alcohol or drugs in the victims' bloodstreams.

The inquest continues.

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