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Death of 'beautiful and loving' Violet Knox, 2, who was found face down in garden pond in Beck Row described as 'tragic and devastating accident'

The death of a 'beautiful and loving' two-year-old girl who was discovered face down in a pond has been described by a coroner as a 'tragic and devastating accident'.

An inquest held at Suffolk Coroners' Court in Ipswich today heard that Violet Knox had been visiting her grandparents Angela and Andrew Peck in Beck Row, near Mildenhall , on the afternoon of February 23, following a family celebration in Tuddenham.

The toddler, who was the youngest of four sisters, had been playing outside in the back garden - which was separated from the pond in the front garden - with another child while Mr Peck was cutting wood.

Senior coroner Nigel Parsley recorded Violet's death as accidental.
Senior coroner Nigel Parsley recorded Violet's death as accidental.

The inquest heard that it was a 'nice, sunny day' and that it was the first time the youngster had played outside since the cold weather had started months before.

When Mr Peck returned to the house at around 4pm, the family realised that only Violet had not yet come inside.

"They worried, panicking that she had gone out of the driveway gate but I could see that it was closed with the pin in the hole," said Mr Peck.

"I was heading back to the wood shed to look there. I headed through the pond area and I could see her face down in the pond."

The court was told that Violet 'didn't like to go near water' and that Mr and Mrs Peck had told all their grandchildren to stay away from the pond.

Mr Peck pulled his grand-daughter from the water while Violet's mum Katie started resuscitation attempts. Ambulance staff also advised them over the phone to remove her dress, tights and wellies.

Ambulance crews then arrived at the house and Violet was airlifted to West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds .

Dr Rishi Rallan, a pre-hospital medical emergency trainee at the East Anglian Air Ambulance, said that on arrival at the hospital Violet's temperature was recorded as 26 degrees - more than 10 degrees below the average body temperature.

After around two hours of CPR, Violet was pronounced dead at the hospital.

At the inquest, Violet's mum Katie paid tribute to her youngest daughter, who she said loved cucumber, animals and watching Peppa Pig.

"Violet was a beautiful, loving little girl and very content. She loved to dance to any music even stopping in the middle of the street to dance outside a shop which had music playing," she said.

"She had a smile and a wave for everybody, even if you were just passing in the street. She was one of the four most precious people in my life and the perfect little baby sister."

A post mortem found that Violet had suffered an 'immediate' cardiac arrest after she fell in the cold water, with her cause of death having been recorded as cold water immersion, otherwise known as 'dry drowning'.

Detective Inspector Claire Baldwin, who carried out the initial police investigation into Violet's death, described the case as a 'tragic and devastating accident'.

This was echoed by senior coroner Nigel Parsley, who recorded Violet's death as accidental.

"I really don't think I can sum up this case any better than DI Claire Baldwin when she said Violet's death was the result of a tragic and devastating accident," he said.

"This is a particularly tragic case and it cannot have been easy for Violet's family to sit through this inquest today."

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