Wigan toddler's death was an "unimaginable" accident, inquest hears

"Little P" had been wearing armbands all day until just before he drowned
"Little P" had been wearing armbands all day until just before he drowned

An inquest heard details of the tragic final moments of a Wigan tot who drowned in a hotel pool during a family holiday.

Presley Stockton, four, died last September just a day after arriving at the Hotel Paradise Park in Tenerife with his parents, grandparents and other family members.

An inquiry into his death led by senior coroner Alan Walsh in Bolton, heard how the Hindley youngster had been “very excited” about going away with family and friends, especially his mum Kirsty Jolley and dad Peter Stockton.

Relatives didn’t attend the hearing, which consisted entirely of written statements from police, medical staff and members of Presley’s family.

Evidence read out said the youngster had been “particularly excited” about swimming in the hotel’s pool area.

Mr Walsh read evidence from Mr Stockton, Presley’s dad.

He said: “He was bought some armbands to wear around the pool and other items to play with by his

family.

“On September 19, Presley and his family had been around the pool, where he played wearing his armbands.

“At lunchtime, in the early afternoon, he had something to eat.

“He complained that he couldn’t eat properly with the armbands on so they were taken off.”

A short time later, the inquest heard, the youngster headed for the pool with a group of young friends who he had been playing with nearby.

Mr Walsh added: “Suddenly his father heard one of the children shouting “Presley”.

“It was discovered that he had gone in the pool.

“He was rescued and attempts were made to resuscitate him, but sadly he had died at the hotel.”

In his statement Mr Stockton said that Presley was a “much-loved son” who was sadly missed.

A post mortem examination conducted at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital found that Presley had died from drowning.

The coroner, who concluded that Presley’s death was “accidental”, added: “I am satisfied that precautions were taken.

“He had been playing around the pool wearing armbands.

“The problem seems to have arisen when he had something to eat. They were taken off for a short time and during that short time he was with his friends around the pool, he went in and sadly became unresponsive.

“I accept that it was a sudden, unexpected event with unintended consequences.

“I am greatly saddened by the tragedy of a four-year-old excited about his holiday and being with family and friends.

“There were precautions taken with the exception of that very short period. It’s unimaginable to me that this should occur in this moment.”

Presley, known to his family Little P, had just started school. At the time of his death, Nicola Green, head teacher at St Peter’s CE Primary School in Hindley, wrote an emotional tribute to the “bubbly” youngster.

She said: “Presley had only been with us a short time but was already a part of St Peter’s family. He will always be part of our school community and remembered by us all for his bubbly personality.”

Since his death, the family –in particular Presley’s grandad Mike Jolley – have campaigned to raise the importance of swimming lessons for youngsters. Mr Jolley, 49, said his grandson had been taken to the swimming baths as an infant – but had never properly learned how to swim.

He said: “When I was a child it was compulsory to take swimming lessons, even at nursery. It should be like that now.

“There should be more funding for youngsters of a pre-school age. I want to do this for Presley. I want to make people more aware of the importance of learning how to swim.”

Mike is hoping to lobby the Government to provide more funding for preschool swimming lessons so that no other family has to sufferlike his has.

His campaign has been backed by Makerfield MP Yvonne Fovargue, who said: “This would be a fitting tribute to the memory of Presley. Swimming is a vital life skill that helps to keep people fit and healthy but also teaches children how to stay safe in and around water.”