Manchester

Shukri Yayhe-Abdi inquest: Drowned girl's mum 'initially feared kidnapping'

Shukri Yahye-Abdi Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Shukri Yahye-Abdi came to the UK in 2017 from Kenya

The mother of a schoolgirl who drowned in a river initially feared her daughter had been kidnapped when she failed to come home, an inquest heard.

Shukri Yahye-Abdi, 12, died after going into the River Irwell in Bury, Greater Manchester, on 27 June last year.

Zam Zam Ture told the inquest at The Old Police Station, Heywood, she believed her daughter was with two girls who were not her friends.

"I didn't know what to do," Mrs Ture said. "I was running around."

The inquest heard how Shukri's family had lived in a refugee camp in Kenya between 2000 and 2017 before moving to the UK.

Shukri, along with her mother and siblings, settled in Bury under the vulnerable person's resettlement scheme.

Speaking through an interpreter, Mrs Ture told the coroner that Shukri had never liked swimming.

She also did not believe Shukri socialised with Child One and Child Two, who cannot be named for legal reasons.

Mrs Ture believed there had been a previous fight between Child Two and Shukri, the inquest heard.

Image caption Shukri Yahye-Abdi died after being seen in the River Irwell in Bury

In the hours before her death, Shukri and Child One and Child Two had been stopped by security guards at Primark.

The security guard told the inquest the girls "acted giggly" and "looked friendly".

"There was no reason to believe [Shukri] didn't want to be there," he told the opening day of the hearing.

The inquest was also told that Child One, who was at the river with Shukri, had confessed to threatening to kill Shukri before her death.

Child One told her foster carer that she had said "if you don't get in the water I'm going to kill you" but added the comment had been made in a "laughing and joking manner".

"After coming all this way she wanted everyone to get into the water," the foster carer added.

'Mad panic'

Two passers by who went into the water in an attempt to save Shukri were praised for their efforts by senior coroner Joanne Kearsley, who said she recognised they did everything they could in a "very difficult situation".

"It was such a mad panic I wasn't thinking about myself or anyone else.

"I was just thinking about that child in the river," Steven Duckworth told the inquest.

"All we wanted was to save that little girl."

The inquest continues.

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