Boy, 2, drowned in a canal after his father went home to watch the Olympics on TV

May 30, 2013 | by | 0 Comments
Jehovah Pembele who drowned in the Grand Union canal near Northampton town centre

Jehovah Pembele who drowned in the Grand Union canal near Northampton town centre

A two-year-old boy drowned in a canal after he wandered off when his father left him on his own for TWO MINUTES, an inquest heard.

Jehovah Pembele was found floating face-down in the murky waters 100 yards from his home while dad Fernando Kutati, 34, watched the OLYMPICS on TV.

Mr Kutati was checking the score of the Team GB game against Cameroon on July 28 last year when he turned his back and left the youngster to play with friends in the street.

But when he returned to two-and-a-half minutes later he found his son’s favourite toy bike upturned in the road, sparking a frantic search for the tot involving 20 friends.

Tragically, Jehovah – known as Giovani – was found 30 minutes later under floating leaves in the Grand Union Canal near his home in Far Cotton, Northants.

Distraught dad Fernando Kutati, sobbed as he recalled the moment police found his son floating in the canal.

Addressing the inquest at Northampton County Hall on Wednesday the dad-of-four said: “It was a normal Saturday.

“The neighbours’ children went to play with Giovani.

“I told the older ones to look after him, that I was coming back out.

“I was only in the house for two-and-a-half minutes. I called the police and walked down towards the canal.

“I saw a little boy coming towards me. He said he had found Giovani. A policeman was there trying to give him mouth-to mouth.

“The policeman was crying, we cried together.”

Fernando Kutati (right) the father of Jehovah Pembele, looks at the spot where his son drowned in Grand Union Canal

Fernando Kutati (right) the father of Jehovah Pembele, looks at the spot where his son drowned in Grand Union Canal

Speaking at the time, Mr Kutati said: “I was watching the TV for less than five minutes.

“The football was on. It was Cameroon and Great Britain playing. When I came out he was gone.

“Giovanni was a good, good boy. When I would walk with him to the shops he would not leave my side.

“He was just two years old. Now I will never see my son again.

“It was a hot day. There were lots of people and children playing outside.

“We are desperate for information about how this could have happened.”

Paramedics rushed to the scene but despite trying to revive the tot he died the following day at Leicester Royal Infirmary.

Although doctors managed to restart Giovani’s heart, his major organs had already failed.

Pathologist Dr Roger Malcomson told the inquest he could not be sure whether Giovani had drowned, as he also had hypothermia.

Giovani was initially treated at Northampton General Hospital, before being transferred to Leicester Royal Infirmary (LRI) for a process called extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, which provides oxygen to blood in patients with failing hearts and lungs.

Dr Raghu Ramajah, who treated Giovani at the LRI, told the inquest: “His heart started beating again, but his organs had already failed.

“We had treated him for almost every organ you could think of.”

Coroner Anne Pember recorded a verdict of accidental death

She said: “I would say that he was playing near his home and wandered off and sadly he was found face down in the a nearby canal.”

Addressing the family, she added: “I’m very very sorry for your loss.”

Verdict: Accidental death.

Category: News

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