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Last Updated: Monday, 22 October 2007, 12:40 GMT 13:40 UK
TV told father of son's drowning
Jordon Lyon
Jordon jumped into the pond to save his step-sister
The estranged father of a 10-year-old boy says he did not learn of his death by drowning until four months later.

John Prestwich said he discovered that Jordon Lyon had died from a TV report on the inquest into his death in Wigan, Greater Manchester.

The case caused controversy after it emerged that two police community support officers (PCSOs) had declined to jump into a pond to save him.

Mr Prestwich told BBC Five Live he had lost contact with the boy's mother.

Jordon jumped into the pond in an effort to rescue his step-sister as they played together in May. Fishermen managed to save his step-sister from the water.

Moved house

Mr Prestwich said he had separated from Jordon's mother, Tracy Ganderton, eight years ago, but initially had regular access to Jordon and their other son, Brandon.

Nobody should be watching the news one day and find out that their son's died - nobody
John Prestwich

He said he was serving in the Army at the time, and had returned home on leave one weekend to find that his ex-wife and children had moved house, leaving no new address.

Mr Prestwich said he had tried to trace them through the Child Support Agency (CSA) but was told details could not be given out due to the Data Protection Act.

It was not until he saw the news in September that he realised Jordon had died, he said.

"It was like someone had hold of my throat and I couldn't get any words out, I just collapsed on the floor," he said.

"In my eyes, if I was in contact, I might not have been there on that specific day but I know that I would have been able to go to the hospital and actually see him.

John Pit
The pond is at a well-known beauty spot in Wigan

"I know that he was looking for me, so just me turning up at the hospital, saying I was there, could have been enough to bring him round.

"The fact that I have had to turn up in September, four months after he died... I just wish that I had been contacted.

"I know I am on the system, the electoral register. I am available to be found if someone looks, and I've done that on purpose, so that if Jordon and Brandon did decide to look for me, they could find me.

"Nobody should be watching the news one day and find out that their son's died - nobody."

Jordon's death sparked a row over the role of the two PCSOs who were at the scene but did not enter the water as they were not trained to deal with the incident.

Jordon was eventually pulled from the pond, but despite attempts to resuscitate him was later pronounced dead in hospital.

A verdict of accidental death was recorded at the inquest into his death.

'Full support'

Police have defended the actions of the PCSOs, saying that they could not see where Jordon was in the lake.

Ass Chf Con Dave Thompson said Greater Manchester Police would not encourage any officer to jump into the water because of the dangers.

He paid tribute to the PCSOs for "acting correctly".

"The two PCSOs involved did not stand by and watch Jordon die," he said.

"They acted correctly and I fully support the actions they took.

"The initial call to police gave the wrong location. This was no-one's fault, as the lake is known by several different names locally and there are other similar lakes nearby."



VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Mr Prestwich describes how he searched for his son



SEE ALSO
PCSOs 'knew where child drowned'
24 Sep 07 |  Manchester
Minister supports pond officers
23 Sep 07 |  Manchester
PCSOs 'did not watch boy drown'
21 Sep 07 |  Manchester
Police defend drowning death case
21 Sep 07 |  Manchester
Schoolboy dies after pond rescue
04 May 07 |  Manchester

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