UK

Surranna Stonestreet, 4-Year-Old Killed By Shed Her Father Was Dismantling, Inquest Hears

22/08/2013 16:41 BST
PA
Police tape on Bristol Road, Birmingham as two men are being treated in hospital after suffering stab wounds during a dispute at a convenience store.

A four-year-old was killed when a garden shed her father was dismantling collapsed and fell on her, an inquest has heard.

Surranna Stonestreet, from Bath in Somerset, suffered fatal head injuries when she was hit by six breeze blocks that crashed down from the structure.

Her father Karl decided to rebuild the shed, which had been built in the family's garden by his brother-in-law, as the front wall was not straight.

On 3 May this year, he began by using a chisel to remove the shed's door but it became stuck in the wall.

Avon Coroner's Court heard Mr Stonestreet attempted to pull the chisel away but the breeze block wall suddenly came crashing down.

The father-of-four was horrified to see daughter Surranna - who he believed to be playing on a trampoline nearby - lying on the ground with a pile of bricks on her chest.

In a statement read to the hearing, Mr Stonestreet said: "It was my intention to take the shed down.

"This was because the front wall of the shed was not straight and I wanted to start again.

"The chisel got stuck by the door of the breeze block wall. At that point that wall suddenly fell towards me."

Mr Stonestreet said he stepped backwards to avoid the falling rubble and fell over.

"As I got up I could see that Surranna was lying to the side of me.

"She had six breeze blocks on her chest. She had blood coming from her mouth."

Mr Stonestreet picked up his daughter and rushed her inside the house, where his wife Nicola administered CPR.

"When Nicky was working on Surranna she did begin to take some breaths," he added.

Paramedics arrived five minutes later and took Surranna to Bath's Royal United Hospital (RUH), but where she was pronounced dead.

The inquest was told Surranna's uncle, John Copp, a self-employed ground worker, built the wall in March 2011.

Mr Copp said the wall was six feet high and 10 feet long and comprised of a breeze block front, asbestos sides and a corrugated metal roof.

"As far as I am concerned I built a solid structure and that was how I left it," Mr Copp said.

"At Christmas 2012 my brother told me the shed I built had the roof taken off and was a skeleton. In my opinion, this would have made the shed unstable.

"I have been devastated by the death of my niece."

Mr Copp said the Stonestreet family moved from Bridgend in Wales to the semi-detached home in October 2012.

Detective Sergeant Birt, of Avon and Somerset Police told the inquest: "During this investigation I have not found any concerning or suspicious circumstances.

"This would appear to be a tragic accident."

Maria Voisin, Coroner for Avon, concluded that Surranna - whose family did not attend the inquest - had died an "accidental death" and expressed her condolences at their loss.

After the tragedy, Mrs Stonestreet paid tribute to her daughter on a Facebook page called "Nicola & Surranna Stonestreet".

Mrs Stonestreet wrote: "R.I.P baby ur going to be sooooo missed u were my world. Now sleeping with the angels love u darling XXXX."