'Accidental death' ruling over electrocuted taxi driver killed during five-a-side football match at Mountbatten Leisure Centre
JURORS hearing an inquest into the death of a man who was electrocuted at a football match said a killer floodlight was not ‘not inspected, isolated or tested’.
Taxi driver Albert Xhediku 34, received the fatal shock during a five-a-side match at Mountbatten Leisure Centre in Stamshaw after touching a floodlight pylon while climbing a fence to retrieve a ball on January 17, 2016.
Giving evidence at Portsmouth Coroner’s Court, his cousin Fitim Noka said: ‘We ran over and got on the fence before trying to get him down. His hand was holding the bar. I remember saying 'let it go Albert”.’
The inquest was told the floodlight had faults with its wiring with the conduit box and switches at the base of the floodlights described as being in a very poor state and having to be taped up.
Deputy coroner Lincoln Brookes said the lighting control box had ‘not been inspected recently prior to the accident’.
He added: ‘There were potential faults with the floodlight mast with two other members of the public also receiving nasty shocks.’
Off-duty police officer, Simon Tam, told the hearing that in December 2015, he received a ‘nasty electric shock’ from the floodlight which left him ‘feeling unwell for several weeks’.
In its conclusion, the jury agreed that ‘the floodlight was not inspected, isolated or tested by an electrical contractor and remained in use’.
The centre was managed at the time by Parkwood Community Leisure for Portsmouth City Council.
A statement from the company said: ‘We would like to extend our deepest sympathies to Albert Xhediku’s family and friends at this extremely difficult time.
‘As a company we have always taken health and safety extremely seriously and we are fully committed to delivering high standards and a quality public service.
‘Since the incident, we have worked with relevant authorities to establish what happened and prevent the recurrence of a similar incident.’
Jurors heard the pitches are now managed by a different company who have overseen repairs and installed anti-climbing barriers around the pylons.
In a statement, Mr Xhediku's family said: ‘Albert was a guy who did everything with all his heart.
‘Even when he was playing football with his friends, he played like it was the championships.
‘He was our big brother and a loving son.’