A LAWYER representing the family of tragic Shukri Yayhe-Abde has suggested a coroner could return a 'murder' conclusion.

Shukri drowned in the River Irwell in June 2019 and an inquest has heard how she had visited the waters with four other youngsters.

The 12-year-old, who could not swim, got into difficulties and could not reach the side, a coroner's court has been told.

Lawyers representing her family at the Rochdale hearing insist Coroner Joanne Kearsley had a number of conclusions at her disposal.

Ashley Underwood QC said there was a possibility that a verdict that this had been gross negligence manslaughter or even murder was possible.

He argued the youngster closest to Shukri before she drowned, known as Child One, knew she could not swim, and took her into the pool and said she would take care of her.

This he said established a "duty of care" which had been broken.

He said a hypothetical jury could establish facts which would lead them to the conclusion of gross negligence and this meant murder was also a possibility.

Earlier Child One had told how, when the pair were in the water together, she had pushed Shukri off her because she was unable to swim at the time.

Shukri had been out with school friends, who cannot be named for legal reasons, during the early evening incident in the early evening, an inquest heard.

The others involved have been referred to as Child One, Two, Three and Four.

A previous hearing was told she had taken a bus with Child One and Child Two and they had come across Child Three and Child Four by chance.

This week the inquest witnessed a video recording of an interview which Child One gave to police later. It was established she had taken Shukri into the river with her.

During the interview she was asked how Shukri got in the water.

She said: “She took her shoes and socks off. I splashed water on her, she splashed me back. We started swimming.

“She was holding me, she was pulling my leg, I pushed her, that is why I feel it is all my fault, I moved my leg away from her.”

She said Shukri was holding both her legs at the time which meant she could not get her head above the surface.

She said: “I couldn’t swim like that, I pushed her, she went down to the deep end, she could have got out, she came in and out and disappeared.

“I needed to save myself."

She also said in the interview she had not been told Shukri could not swim.

The inquest also heard from an educational professional asked to help Child One in the aftermath of the incident.

He said he urged her not to look at social media posts about what had occurred but sometimes she was unable to resist. She also spoke to him about the incident.

His statement said: “She told me she had bad dreams and night trouble, she could not get the image of her friend out of her head.

"She wishes she could have saved her but froze and panicked. Child One wanted to go swimming, she asked Shukri if she could swim, she said she could swim but wasn’t very good, Child One said she would teach her.”

The inquest also heard from a paramedic who attended the scene, who said she had attended but had initially been unable to find the children. She discovered two young girls and two young boys but none were very wet.

She said: “My initial thought was it was a hoax call. I thought this because of the reaction of the males and females. None of them appeared to be crying or in a state of distress.”

The inquest also heard from Det Insp Andrew Naismith, senior investigating officer in the case, who said extra steps were taken that would not normally taken for a "sub-sea death" including sending family liaison officers.

He also said he was aware of bullying allegations and posts on social media suggesting Shukri had been thrown in the river.

He said: "From my point of view there was nothing ever brought to the investigation or to myself as SIO that would suggest there was anything of a criminal nature or anything untowards that happened to Shukri before she ends up in the water."

The inquest is set to hear submissions from more counsel today.