HANNAH DEFOE’S death caused by electrocution in a swimming pool was manslaughter, an inquest jury in St. Lucia has ruled.
This week’s verdict comes two-and-a-half years after the 20-year-old aspiring dancer, who was footballer Jermain Defoe’s cousin, died when she swimming at the Caribbean island’s luxury resort of Juliette’s Lodge in Vieux Fort.
The St. Lucian inquest took almost a year to conclude and its ruling means British authorities are now able to launch their own investigation into her death.
Speaking after learning about the inquest’s decision, Defoe’s mother Hope told the Enfield Advertiser: “We are very encouraged by this verdict as we were beginning to feel that it was all a charade.
“We are very hopeful that criminal proceedings will follow but have been warned that this could take years.”
Defoe’s tragic death on July 25, 2012, was recounted at the inquest from evidence given by her aunt Janet Defoe, who attempted to save her niece as was electrocuted in the water.
Reliving the traumatic experience, in November the aunt told the inquest: “I ran to the pool and when I got there I saw Hannah’s body stretched out at the bottom of the pool.
“I jumped into the pool to rescue her.
“As soon as I jumped in I felt a fuzzy feeling over my whole body.”