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Coroner offers ‘heartfelt condolences’ after Afghan refugee dies in window fall


By PA News

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A coroner has offered her condolences to the family of a five-year-old Afghan refugee who fell to his death from a hotel window, at what she said was a “truly awful time” for them.

An inquest was opened on Wednesday and heard only very brief details of how Mohammed Munib Majeedi fell from a window of the Sheffield Metropolitan Hotel and landed on the top deck of a multi-storey car park.

Assistant coroner Tanyka Rawden said in the five-minute hearing: “He was staying with his family at the Metropolitan Hotel, on Blonk Street, in Sheffield.

I would like to offer my heartfelt condolences to Mohammed's family at this truly awful time
Tanyka Rawden, assistant coroner

“On August 18 2021, emergency services were called to a car park adjacent to the hotel following reports of Mohammed having fallen from a window of the hotel on to the top storey of the car park.

“He was taken by ambulance to Sheffield Children’s Hospital where he was sadly pronounced dead.”

Ms Rawden told Sheffield Coroner’s Court that Mohammed was identified by his father.

She said: “I would like to offer my heartfelt condolences to Mohammed’s family at this truly awful time.”

The coroner told the hearing that the boy was born in Afghanistan in May 2016.

She adjourned the inquest until a further hearing on November 16 and no further details of the incident were given.

Mohammed arrived in the UK with his family this summer.

Witnesses said the boy’s father had worked in the British Embassy in Kabul and the family came to the UK a few weeks ago, landing at Birmingham Airport, then staying in Manchester during quarantine for Covid.

Following the death, a number of people were seen leaving the hotel last week (Peter Byrne/PA)
Following the death, a number of people were seen leaving the hotel last week (Peter Byrne/PA)

The family, including the parents and three boys and two girls, moved to the hotel in Sheffield in the week before the tragedy.

It emerged last week that asylum seekers were previously removed from the hotel because it was deemed unfit for refugees to stay in.

Labour MPs in the city have demanded a “full, urgent, independent inquiry”.

The Refugee Council has also called for a review of the accommodation offered to those fleeing the Taliban.

Earlier this week, Emma Haddad, director-general of asylum and protection at the Home Office, said the boy’s family had “recently” been moved from Afghanistan by her team.

“We are all heartbroken. We have all been in tears,” Dr Haddad said.

She wrote in the Telegraph: “Many of us are also parents. We are not faceless bureaucrats with no empathy – the emotions are overwhelming us.”

Dr Haddad said her team has been working “round the clock” to provide safe refuge to people fleeing Afghanistan, and although her staff do not want to use hotels for relocation, offers of housing have not kept pace with the numbers arriving.

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