'Very obvious' there was no water in Tenerife swimming pool where Wigan dad was found badly injured

It was "very obvious" that a swimming pool in Tenerife where a Wigan dad was found seriously injured was empty, an inquest has heard.
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Andrew Openshaw, known as Andy, suffered "catastrophic" injuries when he fell into the pool during a stag party on January 31, 2014.

How he came to be in the pool and the cause of his injuries is now being considered in a hearing at Bolton Coroner's Court, as the 34-year-old died three years later from "chronic complications" of the head injury he suffered.

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She described the complex where Mr Openshaw was found as having a reputation for being somewhere people could "either score drugs or engage in the services of a prostitute".

She said it would be difficult for someone who did not know the site to find their way around as it was "a maze".

She said the pool was lit by light from the surrounding apartments and it was "very obvious" there was no water in the pool.

Ms McFadyen said: "There is no way you would look at that swimming pool and think there is water in it, absolutely not."

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She went to see Lee Unsworth, described as being a "good friend and best mate" of Mr Openshaw, who was also found injured in the pool.

The inquest earlier heard that Mr Openshaw told police he had been assaulted by Mr Unsworth, something he denies.

Ms McFadyen saw him the day after he was released from hospital, where he was treated for a broken heel, and took him to stay with her.

She said he "wasn't really forthcoming" with details of what happened and repeatedly said he did not know what had taken place. She commented that he was "not very upset" about his friend being in hospital.

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Ms McFadyen said Mr Openshaw's father Simon Openshaw later asked her to call Mr Unsworth and she asked him if he had hit Mr Openshaw with a piece of wood and pushed him into the swimming pool.

"He said, 'I don't know what's happened. I could have done, I don't know'", she said. Mr Unsworth denied saying this in court.

Ms McFadyen told the inquest she had spoken to people in the area to find out more about what happened, including one unidentified man who claimed to have seen a fight in the complex.

The inquest also heard from medical experts about the injuries suffered by Mr Openshaw, which included fractures to his skull, eye socket, cheek, spine and finger.

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Consultant neuropathologist Dr Daniel Du Plessis said his injuries were likely caused by "a head-first impact from a significant distance" - banging his head in the pool - but could not say whether he dove in or was pushed.

He said a punch to the back of his head could not have caused the injuries, unless that was what led him to fall into the pool.

There was also evidence of a severe chest infection, with the inquest earlier hearing that Mr Openshaw died in July 2017 after contracting pneumonia.

Prof Paul May, a consultant neurosurgeon at the Walton Centre in Liverpool, was involved in repatriating Mr Openshaw after being contacted by the office of Andy Burnham, then Leigh MP and Shadow Secretary for Health.

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The inquest heard he suggested to Mr Openshaw's family that there was a possibility he was assaulted, after seeing other injuries such his fractured cheek and finger.

He told the court he did not remember the conversation, but he did see a lot of patients who had been assaulted and had associated defensive injuries.

Dr Kumar Das, a consultant radiologist, examined scans of Mr Openshaw's injuries for Greater Manchester Police.

He said a CT scan done in hospital just hours after he was found showed the extent of Mr Openshaw's injury and that it would have been fatal without surgery.

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He said it was possible all the injuries had been caused by a single fall, but he could not rule out the possibility of a second blow causing some injuries.

"It is possible there was a blow to the eye and subsequent further fractures were sustained as a result of the fall," he said.

The inquest also heard that Mr Openshaw was found wearing only boxer shorts, with his jeans, T-shirt and trainers found nearby and later examined.

No blood was found on the clothes, following suggestions they had been removed after he was assaulted, and there was no damage to them.

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The inquest heard both alcohol and cocaine were found in Mr Openshaw's urine and as he was not a known drug user, this raises the possibility his drink was spiked.

Coroner Timothy Brennand is considering a series of possible scenarios for what happened to Mr Openshaw, which include that he jumped into the pool himself, was pushed in either during horseplay or an assault, and that a third party was involved.


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