Page last updated at 16:21 GMT, Wednesday, 26 May 2010 17:21 UK

Thatcham boy's ice plunge death ruled 'accidental'

Tommy Hudson
Tommy Hudson was airlifted to hospital where he died two weeks later

A schoolboy who died two weeks after falling through ice on a frozen pond died accidentally, a coroner has ruled.

Tommy Hudson, six, was found under the water in a garden pond in Burys Bank Road, Crookham Common, near Thatcham in Berkshire, on 5 January.

He was airlifted to John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, but died on the morning of 21 January.

After the hearing at Newbury Town Hall, his parents paid tribute to their "bright, loving little boy".

The hearing was told Tommy had been in his garden with his friend Amelia Cole for about 20 minutes when Amelia, five, ran into the house to tell his mother that he had fallen into a neighbour's pond.

While Ms Mitchell telephoned the emergency services, Amelia's mother, Cheryl, waded in to search for the boy but was quickly up to her waist in icy water.

'Junction infinity'

Anna Burnside, assistant deputy coroner for Berkshire, recorded a verdict of accidental death and said: "I don't believe Tommy would have known at his age that it was so dangerous to be in the pond."

She told Tommy's parents: "It's clear to me that everything was done that could have been done and it was just a terrible, tragic accident."

In a joint statement read after the hearing, Joanne Mitchell and Nicholas Hudson said: "Tommy was a very bright, loving little boy with a gentle manner and an enchanting smile. He was hugely popular with friends and peers.

"Tommy was mildly autistic. We are very proud of his achievements and progress Tommy made against his autism."

Mr Hudson added: "Tommy came up with the idea that heaven is at junction infinity on the motorway.

"Tommy, on behalf of your family and friends, we remember you with much love and thank you for six beautiful years. We wish you well at junction infinity."

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