Police officer suffered 'nasty' electric shock at Portsmouth sports pitch a month before taxi driver was electrocuted

Taxi driver Albert Xhediku, who was killed at Mountbatten Leisure Centre after being electrocuted on January 17, 2016.
Taxi driver Albert Xhediku, who was killed at Mountbatten Leisure Centre after being electrocuted on January 17, 2016.
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A POLICE officer suffered a ‘nasty’ electric shock on an outdoor football pitch just a month before a taxi driver died of electrocution in the same place, an inquest heard.

Albert Xhediku, 34, went to retrieve an out-of-play football when he was electrocuted on the pitch at the Mountbatten Centre, Portsmouth, on January 17, 2016.

Albert Xhediku's taxi at Mountbatten Centre the day after the death 'Picture: Solent News & Photo Agency

Albert Xhediku's taxi at Mountbatten Centre the day after the death 'Picture: Solent News & Photo Agency

A coroner heard the fatal incident took place as he simultaneously touched a floodlight pylon and a metal fence while climbing. 

As the inquest into his death continued today, the court heard police officer Simon Tam was shocked in similar circumstances a month earlier. 

PC Tam was playing with Hampshire Constabulary colleagues at the site on December 1, 2015 as he attempted to climb and get a ball off a roof. 

READ MORE: Police officers tried to save life of taxi driver electrocuted at the Mountbatten Centre

Giving evidence the cop, who also touched a pylon and the fence, said the ‘extremely painful' episode caused his ‘whole body to tense up’. 

‘It was hard even to speak because I was frozen due to the shock, it was severe muscular pain leaving a tense, burning sensation,' he said. 

PC Tam shrieked in pain after the shock but fellow officer, Anthony Percival, said colleagues initially thought he was ‘mucking around'.

‘I hear him say “agh, guys, I have been electrocuted”,' he said. 

‘I’m thinking how would he have been, don’t be silly.' 

READ MORE: Screams as taxi driver was electrocuted 'fetching football' at the Mountbatten Centre

PC Tam continued playing football after an 'awkward’ 4ft fall to the ground but admitted losing the sensation in his fingertips. 

The inquest heard he called the Mountbatten Centre to report the incident a day later but was dismayed after hearing laughter down the line.

Thomas Hawkins, the duty manager who took PC Tam's call, told coroners he knew the incident was ‘serious' and made records of it.  

After logging an incident form he confirmed he also texted the site’s centre manager, Luke Colaluca, saying: ‘Please call!! Very important.’ 

Mr Hawkins said he felt he ‘had done his part' after Mr Colaluca said he would make follow-up calls. 

READ MORE: Family of electrocuted taxi driver demand ‘thorough’ examination of his death

The court heard the incident took place during a period of ‘really bad anti-social behaviour’ at the Mountbatten Centre – with people climbing over the pitch's gates to access it when it was closed to the public.