Murder inquiry closed after tot’s hotel pool death

Jane Bell, three, drowned in the swimming pool at the Dalmeny hotel in St Annes.
Jane Bell, three, drowned in the swimming pool at the Dalmeny hotel in St Annes.

A woman arrested on suspicion of murder following the death of a three-year-old girl who drowned in a St Annes hotel swimming pool will face no charges, police have confirmed.

Detectives launched a murder probe after Jane Bell, from Galashiels, Scotland, had to be pulled out of the water at the Dalmeny Hotel, on South Promenade, earlier this year.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said no criminal charges will be brought against a 40-year-old woman, also from Galashiels, who was arrested on suspicion of murder and neglect shortly after the incident happened on August 14.

After a lengthy investigation, which saw the woman twice bailed by police while they gathered evidence, Lancashire Police said the case is now closed.

Joanna White, senior crown prosecutor for CPS North West’s Complex Casework Unit, said: “Following their investigations into the tragic death of three-year-old Jane Bell in August, Lancashire Police submitted a file to the CPS which I have now reviewed in detail.

“Jane Bell died in Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital on August 14, 2014, after an incident in a swimming pool at Dalmeny Hotel.

“A 40-year-old woman was arrested and following their enquiries Lancashire Police referred the case to the CPS.

“I have carefully considered all the material they submitted including a number of witness statements and CCTV footage from the hotel and I have concluded that there should be no criminal proceedings against her in connection with the death.

“An inquest will now follow.

“I would like to offer my sincere sympathies to Jane Bell’s family on their sad loss in such tragic circumstances.”

Police were called to the hotel by paramedics just before 11am on August 14 after Jane had to be pulled from the bottom of the pool.

She was taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital and later transported to Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, where she died at 7.55pm that day.

A Home Office post mortem examination was carried out and concluded Jane died of drowning.

Det Chief Insp Dean Holden, of Lancashire Police, said: “This case involved the tragic death of a three-year-old girl and first and foremost my thoughts remain with Jane’s family.

“We carried out a full and thorough investigation into all the circumstances and following consultation with the CPS, with whom we have worked closely throughout this case, there will be no further action taken against the 40-year-old woman and the police investigation is now closed.”

The hotel declined to comment on the decision.