Boy, five, drowned at water park after mother and stepfather left him to swim unsupervised, court hears

Charlie Dunn pulled lifeless from lagoon at Bosworth Water Park in Leicestershire by other children after apparently being abandoned by 'indifferent' parents

Matthew Cooper
Friday 01 December 2017 09:20
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Lynsey Dunn outside Leicester Crown Court where she has denied causing her son Charlie Dunn's death by gross negligence by permitting him to enter a bathing area unsupervised
Lynsey Dunn outside Leicester Crown Court where she has denied causing her son Charlie Dunn's death by gross negligence by permitting him to enter a bathing area unsupervised

A five-year-old boy was found drowned more than two hours after his mother and stepfather let him “go off by himself” to play in a pool at a water park, a court has heard.

A group of other children pulled Charlie Dunn from a lagoon after his stepfather Paul Smith was allegedly seen smoking and heard saying: “For f*'s sake, we're ready to go. I don't know where he f**** is.”

A jury at Birmingham Crown Court was told Charlie, from Tamworth, Staffordshire, was found in a 1.4-metre deep lagoon at Bosworth Water Park in Leicestershire in July last year.

Smith, 36, and Charlie's mother, Lynsey Dunn, 28, both deny causing the youngster's death by gross negligence by permitting him to enter a bathing area unsupervised.

Opening the Crown's case, prosecutor Mary Prior QC alleged that Charlie, who could not swim, was supervised near the water by strangers - including a man who was mistaken for his father - after being left alone.

The QC told the jury: “Charlie Dunn drowned in the pool for children at the park known as the Blue Lagoon.

“No-one knows how it happened, no-one knows why it happened, and at the time he died neither Miss Dunn or Mr Smith had any idea where he was.

“Charlie had been permitted to go off by himself. The prosecution say that Charlie died because he was not supervised by any adult.

“He was left alone in a busy park at five years old in circumstances where there was a clear and obvious risk that he might come to very serious harm leading to his death.

“It will be for you to decide in this case whether that is right.”

Claiming the defendants had shown “ingrained and entrenched indifference” at the time of the tragedy, Mrs Prior added: “This case is not about parents turning their back for a minute whilst a tragedy occurs.

“We don't prosecute parents for unavoidable tragedies nor do we expect perfection in parenting.

“This is a gross failure to supervise not for seconds, and not for a few minutes, but for protracted periods of time in circumstances where the child was exposed to danger.”

PA

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