Girl, 2, drowned in pool at her family’s £1.3m home after getting over a barrier

News

A toddler drowned in an indoor pool at her family’s farmhouse after getting over a wooden barrier, an inquest heard.

Two-year-old Indigo Morris was found floating face down in the pool as her parents Michael and Amy Morris were preparing a barbecue meal for friends at their £1.3 million home in Ufford near Woodbridge, Suffolk.

Suffolk Coroner’s Court in Ipswich heard how the pool was cordoned off by a 30 inch to 3ft high wooden barrier stretching from wall to wall.

Company director Mrs Morris, 45, said in a statement that she had never known either of her two children get over the barrier unaided and they usually had to be lifted over.

The inquest heard how the tragedy happened on the afternoon of July 20 this year when another couple and their three children were visiting for a play date and a meal.

The children went for a swim under supervision with flotation devices before getting out and playing in the garden and house.

Mrs Morris said she was preparing dinner while Indigo was sitting at the island snacking on humus and tomatoes before playing with her doll’s house.

She added that sliding doors leading to the pool were open, but the wooden barrier was up, preventing access to the water.

Mr Morris, also a company director, said he had delayed a conference call for work as the children were about to eat first.

He said in a statement that he was cooking meat on the barbecue, while his wife and the other husband carried out food and cutlery.

Just before 5pm, he heard the other husband ask where Indigo was.

He immediately ran into the pool room and found his daughter unconscious and lying face down in a corner of the pool.

Mr Morris and his friend pulled her out and began trying to resuscitate her, but her head was “floppy and loose”.

Meanwhile his wife ran to get help from two neighbours who were doctors.

Muhibbur Chowdury, a consultant in stroke medicine at Ipswich Hospital, and Dr John Oates, a GP for 18 years, rushed over to help try and revive Indigo.

Paramedics arrived within four minutes and continued resuscitation until an air ambulance arrived.

Indigo was taken to Ipswich Hospital and later transferred to Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, where she died four days later on July 24.

The family friend also confirmed in a statement that the wooden barrier was in position when he and Mr Morris found Indigo in the water.

Detective Inspector James Cassidy of Suffolk Police said statements from the adults at the house were “consistent in terms of context and timings”.

He said: “The barrier used does not appear to have been breached. In the absence of any corroboration, how Indigo got into the pool area is likely to remain unknown.

“Based on the information, the death of Indigo Morris is a sad and tragic accident.

“There is no suggestion of third party involvement or neglect by her parents or any other adults at the scene.”

Suffolk senior coroner Nigel Parsley passed his condolences to family and friends of Indigo, and recorded a conclusion of accidental death.

He said: “Indigo was able to get past the barrier and in to the pool area.”