Boys’ ice lake deaths were accidents, coroner sayson July 7, 2023 at 11:46 am

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The four boys drowned after they fell through ice at the lake near Solihull in December 2022.

From left, Jack Johnson, brothers Finlay and Samuel Butler and Thomas StewartImage source, Family

The deaths of four boys who fell into a frozen lake near Solihull were accidental and “a devastating tragedy”, a coroner concluded.

Finlay Butler, eight, and his younger brother Samuel, six, died, as did their cousin Thomas Stewart, 11, and another boy, Jack Johnson, 10.

They went into the water at Babbs Mill Park on 11 December 2022.

The boys went on to the ice after they fed ducks and skimmed stones, the inquest heard.

The inquest heard Finlay fell in first, Thomas and Jack as they tried to help and no-one saw Samuel fall in.

In her summary, coroner Louise Hunt also said she was satisfied “emergency services did their utmost” and that “treatment in hospital was good” and “everyone did all they could and should be commended for their actions”.

Det Insp Jim Edmonds, from West Midlands Police, said Jack was with one group of children and the other three in another.

Jack then decided to go on the ice and Thomas, Finlay and Samuel followed.

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