A four-year-old boy playing with his older brother and a group of other kids on a hot summers day drowned after he entered a pool via a gate propped open with a piece of wood.
His tragic death devastated his family and the local community, but it now may have far reaching consequences with the pool owners facing possible criminal charges after the coroner signaled he would refer the case to the state prosecutor.
In February last year on a blistering summers day William Corben, 4, was playing with his older brother, Tom and a group of other children outside their Pacific Pines home on the Gold Coast. They’d been swimming in their own pool with their parents and had raced outside to play at a neighbour’s house with their children and another child.
The group of five children, all under the age of 11, went into the pool owned by two of the kids, the children of Rodney and Lisa Stewart. Lisa Stewart, the mum of the two children, initially wasn’t there, she’d gone for a walk while her husband, Rodney was pottering in the garden watching the five kids play.
When she returned Rodney Stewart, anxious to finish his gardening, asked his wife, Lisa to watch the kids as they swam.
The children jumped in and out of the water playing hide-and-seek echoing the sounds and actions of countless children in countless pools around Australia.
After a “considerable period of time” Mrs Stewart asked the children to jump out, she had to start getting ready to head out and couldn’t watch them anymore.