Northampton

Northampton Council pays out £13m over boy's pool accident

Danes Camp Leisure Centre Image copyright Google
Image caption The boy nearly drowned while at the Danes Camp Leisure Centre swimming pool

The family of a boy who was left brain damaged after nearly drowning in a swimming pool have been paid £13m in a settlement from the council.

The boy, who was six when the incident happened at Danes Camp Leisure Centre in Northampton in 2002, was left with catastrophic brain injuries.

In 2015, the High Court backed a negligence claim against the pool's owners, Northampton Borough Council.

The local authority said it was glad to have reached a settlement.

"We hope this will help them make suitable provision for the future," a spokesman said.

The money has been paid out through the council's insurers.

An earlier hearing was told two lifeguards at the swimming pool had "failed in their duty of care".

'Lifeless'

CCTV at the time showed the boy lowering himself into shallow water at the pool.

Minutes later another swimmer noticed his "lifeless" body lying on the bottom of the pool and dragged him out.

Had he been spotted by the lifeguards, the boy would have been rescued within 30 seconds, the previous hearing was told.

Speaking after the settlement was announced, the family's lawyer Tristan Holdom said the boy was under the water for about two and a half minutes causing "irreversible" brain damage.

"You can't turn the clock back," he said. "But what this does is it allows the family to start a new life."

The sum agreed between the parties is more than twice the original claim value suggested by the victim's lawyers in 2015.

"The boy's mum has pretty much being looking after her son pretty much on her own," said Mr Holdom. "This allows them to find suitable accommodation.

"He (the victim) will never work, so this replaces his loss of earnings.

"The money will be in a protected fund to make sure he has accommodation, care and treatment for the rest of his life."

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