Inquest into toddler death

Dalmeny Hotel, St Annes
Dalmeny Hotel, St Annes
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A coroner will decide whether a jury should be called in to assist with an inquest into the death of a toddler who drowned in a hotel pool.

Jane Bell had to be pulled out of the water at the Dalmeny Hotel, on South Promenade, St Annes, while holidaying in the resort, visiting from Galashiels, Scotland, last 
year.

The three-year-old was pulled from the bottom of the pool after emergency services were called at around 11am on August 14, but she later died at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.

The child’s 40-year-old mother was arrested, but Blackpool Coroner’s Court heard that after an investigation by police, the Crown Prosecution Service ruled no criminal charges would be brought.

An inquest into the toddler’s death was re-opened and formally adjourned yesterday.

Alan Wilson, senior coroner for Blackpool and Fylde, said: “Having [arrested] the mother, [police] received a detailed and thorough assessment by a senior prosecutor concluding there was no criminal prosecution to follow.”

Det Chief Insp Dean Holden told the court that police had “exhausted all lines of inquiry” after reviewing interview footage, witness statements, CCTV footage and “family dynamics”.

This evidence has now been passed to the coroner, the court heard.

Mr Wilson added: “I have been provided with police evidence, which has been considered in full, and seen CCTV footage.

“I want to take some additional time in concluding going through material in more detail and I will need to notify those people who are potentially interested parties to this inquest.

“A decision will be taken at a pre-inquest review as to whether a jury is required.

“My provisional view, given the nature of the matter, is that that will be the conclusion – it may assist the inquiry if a jury is convened.”

Representatives from The Dalmeny Hotel and Fylde Council, and Miss Bell’s family, will be called to attend the next inquest hearing.

The pre-inquest hearing is set to be heard on April 8, with a full inquest proposed 
to be held from June 30 onwards.