A LAWYER representing a child who was with a young Somali girl when she drowned in the River Irwell has rejected a suggestion an inquest could find an unlawful killing had taken place.

Shukri Yayhe Abde died in June 2019 during an incident when she was at the river in Bury with friends.

The 12-year-old, who spent the early part of her life in a refugee camp, came to the UK with her family in the hope of a better life in 2017.

The inquest, at Rochdale Coroner’s Court, heard earlier this year she had travelled there with four people, who cannot be named for legal reasons.

These included Child One and Child Two, who she had travelled with, and Child Three and Child Four, who she had met along the way.

Child One said in her police interview she had gone into the river as a keen swimmer and Shukri had later come in with her.

She later said Shukri was holding her legs meaning she was unable to come to the surface so she kicked her away and then she came up to the surface before disappearing.

Representing the family of Abde, Ashley Underwood QC said that a verdict of unlawful killing, either by gross negligence manslaughter or murder should be look at as an option, because there had been a “duty of care” which had been breached.

But today Alison Hewitt, representing Child One, hit back at this suggestion.

She said: “A person is guilty of murder if he or she kills a person unlawfully, not accidentally or in self defence, at the time with murderous intent.”

“I asked whether that suggestion is to be withdrawn because it is utterly without evidence."

On the subject of gross negligence manslaughter she said: “There is no duty of care. It is school children playing together on an adventure, there is no automatic duty of care.”

She added that Child One had gone to great lengths to give her version of events, even though the coroner ruled it would not be appropriate for her to come before the proceedings to give evidence.

She said: “She assisted the police by going back to the scene, she subsequently volunteered further information.

“Det Insp Naismith’s evidence was there is no evidence of criminality whatsoever.”

She added that the role of an inquest was not to establish guilt, saying that everyone comes to it as an “interested party” looking for answers, and Child One was merely another interested party.

The inquest, before Coroner Joanne Kearsley, continues.