Man dies in electrocution during five-a-side football game with friends, inquest hears

23 September 2019, 15:21 | Updated: 23 September 2019, 17:10

A taxi driver was killed after being electrocuted while fetching a football at a council-owned pitch during a five-a-side game with his friends.

Albert Xhediku, 34, had gone to retrieve the ball which had been kicked over a metal cage surrounding the pitch at a leisure centre in Portsmouth at around 6.30pm in January 2016.

On the way back, he touched a floodlight lamppost and received a fatal shock, an inquest into his death at Portsmouth Coroner's Court heard on Monday.

Emergency services attended the scene and paramedics attempted to revive Mr Xhediku, who was taken to the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham by ambulance. He was pronounced dead later that evening.

Coroner Lincoln Brookes said: "Albert was electrocuted whilst playing five-a-side football with his friends at Mountbatten Leisure Centre.

"The ball went out of the pitch. It was his turn to fetch the ball.

"On his return it seems he touched a floodlight and its lamppost, and in doing so he received a fatal shock from that floodlight, and despite the best efforts of his friends and indeed emergency services he was confirmed dead at Queen Alexandra Hospital later that evening."

The facility and land is owned by Portsmouth City Council, the inquest heard.

The jury was told that off-duty police officer Simon Tubb received a "nasty shock" at the same football ground a few weeks earlier, but survived.

He reported it to Mountbatten Leisure Centre management the next day.

Mr Brookes said the floodlight and control box had not been inspected at any recent time before the accident, adding that a control box at the base of the fence was "seemingly in a poor state of affairs" in November 2015.

"We will be hearing more about what, if any, response that generated from the management," he added.

The inquest continues.