Kent

Dajahnel Young inquest: Family friend 'looked for phone as girl drowned'

Margate beach Image copyright Griselda Mussett
Image caption The youngster had been visiting the seaside resort from Erith, south-east London

A family friend looking after a girl who drowned had been looking for her phone when the six-year-old vanished from the beach, an inquest has heard.

Dajahnel Young was seen floating in the sea at Margate, Kent, at 15:13 BST during a summer trip on 28 July 2018.

Cynthia Robinson told the inquest she had gone to her tent to get her phone so she could film the beach visit.

She said later realised the child was missing, stopped filming and raised the alarm.

Mrs Robinson, a friend of the girl's mother, had been entrusted to look after Dajahnel, the inquest at Sandwich Guildhall heard.

She told the hearing she noticed Dajahnel was missing after emerging from the tent with her phone.

Image copyright Griselda Mussett
Image caption Margate beach was crowded with visitors during a period of hot weather when Dajahnel was recovered from the sea

She said she cut the video "prematurely" and went to look for her, and later asked a lifeguard for help.

After walking "for a while", Mrs Robinson said the lifeguard told her there was "a situation" and took her back to the lifeguard stand, where the police were waiting.

"I was relieved, I thought the police had come to help look for her," she told the inquest.

"Then I hear one of the policemen say which hospital she is in. I said to them, 'please tell me she is okay, please tell me she is okay'.

"I break down and start crying. Then he turned to me and said, 'we are doing what we can for her' and then they took me to the hospital."

She said the girl was initially on a life support machine which was later switched off. Her husband identified the child's body because "I was not strong enough", she told the hearing.

The inquest has previously heard Dajahnel's mother Camille Remekie told Mrs Robinson she did not want her daughter in the water because it was "dirty".

Mrs Robinson denied the mother told her this.

The inquest continues.

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