Schoolboy’s drowning ‘could have been prevented’

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Courts: Reports from the law courts.
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SOBBING relatives of a schoolboy who drowned in a tragic accident said his death could have been prevented after an inquest today heard of the frantic attempts to save him.

Mexborough eight-year-old Matthew Cartwright died after falling in the canal near Talbot Road, Swinton while picking blackberries on August 29 last year.

A Rotherham inquest heard this afternoon how he went through a gap in nearby parkland to get to the canal bank while playing with cousins and thick riverside brambles hindered his rescue.

His family have campaigned to get new fencing and planting put up by British Waterways to stop other children getting too close to the water’s edge.

Speaking after the inquest, Matthew’s weeping grandma Wendy said: “If there was a fence there in the first place Matthew would have been here.

“We have nightmares that we’re going in the canal to save him.”

The inquest recorded a verdict of accidental death.

See tomorrow’s Star for the full story.