Police officers tried to save life of taxi driver who was electrocuted at Mountbatten Centre pitch in Portsmouth

POLICE officers have spoken about how they tried to revive a taxi driver who suffered a ‘fatal electric shock’ fetching a football on a council-owned pitch.

By Millie Salkeld
Wednesday, 25th September 2019, 10:43 am
Albert Xhediku who died at Mountbatten Leisure Centre after being electrocuted
Albert Xhediku who died at Mountbatten Leisure Centre after being electrocuted

Albert Xhediku was electrocuted on a fence by the artificial 3G football pitch at the Mountbatten Centre in Stamshaw, Portsmouth, at 6.30pm on January 17, 2016.

The hearing was told on Monday how Mr Xhediku was trying to retrieve a football which had been kicked over the metal fence surrounding the pitch when he was electrocuted as he touched a pylon of a sports floodlight.

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Taxi driver ‘died fetching football’ at Mountbatten Centre pitch

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Albert Xhediku who died at Mountbatten Leisure Centre after being electrocuted

Panicked friends of the 34-year-old managed to flag down a passing police car to help them after they managed to get him down from the fence.

PC Richard Griffiths and a colleague were out on patrol in the area due to a recent high number of car break-ins.

PC Griffiths told Portsmouth Coroner’s Court: ‘A male ran towards us and he said my friend has been electrocuted on the field. I checked the area for further hazards and I sent two of the people to the road to direct the ambulance.’

Police at the Mountbatten Centre the day after the death Picture: Solent News & Photo Agency

The police officer then proceeded to give CPR while his colleague gave rescue breaths and continued until paramedics arrived.

PC Robin Richardson and a colleague heard the call on the radio about the incident and headed to the scene.

PC Richardson told the jurors: ‘I could see a group of people and I could see two police officers. I covered Albert’s legs with my jacket. 

‘I spoke to a few of Albert’s friends who were clearly distressed. Everyone was very concerned.’

The tragedy led to a three-year probe by the Health and Safety Executive.

Patrick McGinley, an electrical specialist inspector from HSE, was sent to investigate the site on January 21 – four days after the incident. 

He told the court about the ‘unsatisfactory condition’ of the electrics.

Mr McGinley also spoke of a cable that was not secured and had moved against the pylon structure ‘causing cable conductors to become exposed.’

Pathologist Basil Purdue also explained the marks and injuries that had been found on Mr Xhediku’s body and concluded that they had the appearances of ‘electrical injuries’.