A school girl ‘told a Somali refugee, 12, who drowned in a river to ”get in the water or I’ll kill you” but says it was said as a joke’, an inquest has heard.
Shukri Yahye-Abdi, 12, was pulled lifeless from the River Irwell near Bury on June 27 last year after her mother reported her missing.
The inquest into her death resumed today at Rochdale Coroner’s Court, were the coroner was told Shukri was with four other children before she died.
The foster carer of one of the four children, called Child One in court, said that the girl admitted to her three days after Shukri’s death that she’d threatened to kill the school girl if she didn’t get in the water.
Shukri Yahye-Abdi, 12, (pictured) was pulled lifeless from the River Irwell near Bury on June 27 last year after her mother reported her missing
Speaking in court, Moira Cusack said: ‘It took her a few days to digest what had happened. On 30th June, we were stood at the bottom of the stairs in my house and she said she had something to tell me. She said that she’d said in a jokey way ‘get in the water or I’ll kill you’.
‘They were walking along and she’d said it in a laughing manner because after going all that way she wanted everyone to get in the water.
‘Nobody wanted to go in the water and she said she’d save Shukri if she couldn’t swim. She just wanted someone in the water with her.’
Shukri Yahye-Abdi and two of those four children had been stopped in Primark earlier that day for shoplifting, the inquest heard.
Giving evidence, her mother Zak Zam Ture said Shukri had never been swimming or been near a river in her life.
She told the court she had been expected home at 3.15pm that day – in time for mosque at 5pm.
When her daughter failed to return, Ms Ture went to her school, a nearby park and called on other Somali families to help look for her.
A friend told her that she had seen Shukri walking on her own in the direction of her house with two girls following behind, her mother told the hearing.
Police had told her afterwards that four other children were with her daughter at the river before her death and Shukri and two of the other girls had been stopped in Primark for shoplifting that day.
Giving evidence, her mother Zak Zam Ture (seen outside Rochdale Coroner’s Court today) said Shukri had never been swimming or been near a river in her life.
Foster carer Moira said that she’d never seen Shukri before the day of her death when Child One brought her home.
She said: ‘They came round to the house in school uniforms, laughing and giggling. I made them pasta, they ate in the garden and we chatted.
‘They were just acting like teenagers.’
Ms Ture is pictured in tears in the immediate aftermath of her daughter’s death
Moira said they changed into tops and leggings before heading out.
She then received a phone call from police at 8.50PM who asked her to pick up Child One from the police station.
Child One told Moira that she was already in the water when Shukri was getting in and there was no contact between them.
Ms Ture said in evidence that her daughter had no health or medical problems.
She also explained that Shukri knew she would have been told off by both her mother and mosque teachers for not attending.
Ms Ture also said she would have been looking forward to mosque that day because they gave out food and sweets on Thursdays.
Her mother told the court that throughout her first year at school Shukri had no issues and teachers described her as helpful and happy.
Shukri and her four siblings came to the UK from a refugee camp in Kenya in 2017, where her father still lives.
Previously her cousin Mustaf Omar Mohamed said her death was ‘not an accident’.
He claimed she was being bullied, but her school, Broad Oak Sports College, has said they were not aware of any bullying.
Greater Manchester Police said there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the child’s death.
An inquiry by the police watchdog the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) into the way GMP handled the investigation is ongoing.
The inquest continues.
Shukri’s family are pictured in June last year gathering at the River Irwell near Bury where she died to pay tribute to her