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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 November 2005, 16:03 GMT
Girl, three, died in tumble dryer
Georgina Bywater
Georgina had tried to climb into the machine twice before
The mother of a three-year-old girl who suffocated inside a tumble dryer broke down as she recalled how the child was found dead by her six-year-old sister.

Sarah Bywater told an inquest in Dudley how she was unable to remove the body of Georgina Bywater from the machine.

Georgina was found dead at her home in Waldron Avenue, Brierley Hill, in the appliance on 24 June. She had clambered into the machine with her pet kitten.

Black Country coroner Robin Balmain recorded a verdict of accidental death.

Ms Bywater said Georgina had tried to climb into the Hotpoint machine on two previous occasions.

Relating how her surviving daughter, then aged six, found Georgina, Ms Bywater said: "She screamed and came running up the stairs and said 'she's in the tumble dryer with the cat. I have shouted her mum but I can't wake her'.

"I shot down stairs and I saw the cat soaking wet."

'Tragic accident'

Ms Bywater summoned help from a neighbour, who removed the lifeless youngster from the machine.

Insp Mark Wilson, of West Midlands Police, said Georgina's fingerprints had been found on the inside of the bowl on the door of the machine.

He said: "We suspected that Georgina had pulled the door towards herself.

"From the investigations I conducted there was nothing to suggest anything untoward, apart from a tragic accident that occurred."

The house where the girl was found
The girl was found dead in a tumble drier at her home

Expert witness John Tickner said opening the door from the inside, once it was locked, would have been beyond a small child.

Pathologist Dr Phillip Cox gave the cause of death as acute asphyxiation, but said it was impossible to tell whether Georgina had got herself in a position where she could not breathe or had died because of a lack of air in the dryer.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, Mr Balmain said: "The circumstances that led to Georgina's death are highly unusual.

"Her mother took the appropriate steps - she told her off in no uncertain terms - and Georgina seems to have realised that climbing into the spin dryer was something that wasn't acceptable.

"There is no evidence at all of anything suspicious about Georgina's death. This is a lively, happy, well cared for child who has done something that has led directly to her death."

Test carried out over drier death
27 Jun 05 |  West Midlands
Girl's body found in tumble drier
26 Jun 05 |  West Midlands

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