St Lucia government denies impeding justice in death of British national

Hannah Defoe, the 20-year-old cousin of British footballer Jermaine Defoe, died as a result of drowning secondary to electrocution in 2012.

CASTRIES, St. Lucia, Friday April 25, 2014, CMC – The St. Lucia government has denied allegations that it is impeding the inquest into the death of Hannah Defoe, the 20-year-old cousin of British footballer Jermaine Defoe, who died as a result of drowning secondary to electrocution in 2012.

In a brief statement, the Kenny Anthony government said it is aware of media reports that it and “more particularly” that the Deputy Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre “is sitting on a report” that is necessary to bring closure to the Hannah Defoe case.

The government said that a report has been completed and submitted as the inquest into the death of Hannah Defoe continues and that it “wishes to clarify the steps taken thus far, as provided for in the Laws of St. Lucia and to update the public on the status of the reports”.

The government said that immediately after the unfortunate incident, it had  launched an inquiry under the chairmanship of Everistus Jn. Marie, to fulfill the obligations under the Electricity and Regulations Act, Cap 9.02. which states “that serious accidents must be reported to the Chief Electrical Inspector and that the Minister may order an inquiry.

“This inquiry is complete and the findings have been presented in the form of a report to the British Authorities, contrary to what has been suggested. The records of the Attorney General’s Chambers indicate that the report was submitted on October 23, 2013.”

The government said that the inquest into the death of Ms. Defoe is continuing in accordance with the Coroners Act, adding “this is a judicial matter over which the Government of St. Lucia has no control.

“Therefore, it is erroneous to suggest that the Government is impeding justice, or has not fulfilled its responsibility in this case,” the statement added.

The body of the 20-year-old British national had been found in a swimming pool at a hotel in Vieux-Fort south of here last week, while on vacation.

“The results of the examination indicate that Defoe died as a result of drowning secondary to electrocution,” according to the post mortem.

Media reports at the time said that Hannah’s aunt Janet and cousin had been taken to hospital after getting electric shocks as they tried to save her.

 

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