Brit Tenerife pool death: Was it foul play?

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The inquest into a Brit’s Tenerife pool death has returned an inconclusive verdict as his family are sure there was foul play before the life-changing incident. Father-of-two, Andrew John Openshaw was on the sunshine island of Tenerife for a friend’s stag do when he fell into an empty swimming pool and suffered a “catastrophic brain injury” that ultimately cost him his life.

His family believe he may have been attacked before the fall in February 2014, as reported by the Manchester Evening News. He was given just 48 hours to live after the fall but survived three more years until July 15 2017 when he passed away at Salford Royal Infirmary due to multi-organ failure. Friends and family had fundraised more £30,000 to bring him home to Leigh, Greater Manchester.

During the day before the fall, he had been seen consuming “an unknown but significant quantity” of alcohol. He was then seen after midnight at the entrance to a semi-derelict block called the San Rafael Apartments in Playa de Las Americas. It was the early hours of the morning when he was found by emergency services in an unresponsive condition, dressed only in his boxer shorts at the three-metre deep end of an unfilled swimming pool.

Some of the injuries he sustained that evening cannot definitely be attributed to his fall and mystery surrounds the Tenerife pool death. Senior Coroner for Greater Manchester West, Timothy Brennand, said: “The precise circumstances as to what caused Andy to fall into the empty swimming pool cannot be established.”

Mr Openshaw was essentially immobile after being discharged from the Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust. He was deemed fit to be questioned by Greater Manchester Police, helped by an intermediary, and in these conversations, he made an allegation of assault before his fall. “These were investigated by police and not deemed to be a viable basis for the institution of criminal proceedings, as the veracity of the allegations cannot be verified”, said Mr Brennand.

His family are convinced there is more to the story of the Tenerife pool death than a simple fall. Andy’s wife Laura spoke at the inquest and said: “I am a firm believer that the truth never changes. I truly believe that there was something untoward that night in that country.”

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Written by

Claire Gordon