September 23, 2019
A taxi driver was electrocuted while playing five-a-side football with his friends at a council-owned pitch, an inquest has heard.
Taxi Driver Electrocuted While Fetching Football During Five-A-Side Match
Albert Xhediku, 34, had gone to fetch the ball after it had gone out of play at a leisure centre in Portsmouth in January 2016.
But on the way back, he touched a floodlight lamppost and received a fatal shock, the inquest heard.
An inquest into Xhediku’s death before a jury began at Portsmouth Coroner’s Court on Monday afternoon.
The jury was told that an off-duty police officer received a “nasty shock” at the same football ground a couple of weeks before, but it was not fatal.
Coroner Lincoln Brookes said: “Albert was electrocuted whilst playing five-a-side football with his friends at Mountbatten Leisure Centre.
“The ball went out of the pitch. It was his turn to fetch the ball.
“On his return it seems he touched a floodlight and its lamppost, and in doing so he received a fatal shock from that floodlight, and despite the best efforts of his friends and indeed emergency services he was confirmed dead at Queen Alexandra Hospital later that evening.”
The facility and land is owned by Portsmouth City Council, the inquest heard.
Laying out what the inquest will cover, Brookes told the jury: “You will be hearing about what the maintenance programme (of the floodlight and control box) was.
“It wasn’t inspected, certainly recently prior to the accident, and you will be hearing about perhaps why that did not happen from those who were involved in the maintenance programme.”
He said that a control box at the base of the fence was “seemingly in a poor state of affairs” in November 2015.
The jury heard that off-duty police officer Simon Tabb had been playing football at the leisure centre a couple of weeks before Xhediku’s death, and also received a “nasty shock”.
He too had been trying to retrieve a ball, but his incident was not fatal.
Tabb reported it to Mountbatten Leisure Centre management the following day.
Brookes said: “We will be hearing more about what, if any, response that generated from the management.”
The inquest continues.
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