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Vans Golden Coast Era

Asked whether John may have been struck by wood the boys were using as paddles, Smith responded: "No."

Each of the four, Stephen Francis, Dale Croft, Tyron Devine and Lewis Smith were called to give evidence at the inquest in North Sefton Magistrates' Court, Southport.

"We were shouting his name, we were terrified."

He said: "Me and Lewis looked at each other and didn't know what to do."

Neighbours alerted emergency services and John's body was recovered by police divers shortly after 2am.

After the family solicitor questioned Mr Smith over an alleged altercation John had with Francis and Croft in the weeks before the tragedy, the coroner asked: "Was there any bad blood between John

Vans Golden Coast Era

Vans Golden Coast Era

Lewis Smith, John's closest friend of the group, was the last of the four to give his account.

´╗┐Still so many unanswered questions over John's death From St Helens Star

Vans Golden Coast Era

Croft and Smith added that they both waited at the shore for John.

Smith maintained he was giving a truthful account of what he could remember happened on the night of John's death.

"You know how upset John's family are. They need to know what happened this is your chance to give them closure?"

Vans Golden Coast Era

Croft gave a police statement saying John's death "was a stupid accident".

Mr Smith, 16 at the time of the incident, suggested they had believed John "would drift in" to dry land despite not having a paddle.

He added: "We started panicking. I could see the float John had been on but I could not see him.

that night giving contradictory testimonies.

But Mr Haygarth questioned whether a full picture of what happened that night was being portrayed, saying to Smith: "You are one of only four people who know what happened on the Clegg that night.

He described being at the shore with Smith waiting for John when they heard "heavy splashing" and then silence.

Vans Golden Coast Era

the Clegg, in Thatto Heath, the group of five

But Smith said moments later he heard John repeatedly shouting for help and then splashing noises.

Vans Golden Coast Era

Giving evidence first, Francis described hearing worried shouts from his friends who could no longer see John, before heading back to the waterside.

including John headed out onto the water in darkness between 11pm and midnight.

Simmons family's solicitor Rob Haygarth, was at times a confused picture, with the teenagers Mbt Shoes New Jersey

Mr Haygarth asked his recollections about a conversation with John's mother, Paula, in the weeks that followed.

What emerged in court under questioning from the Coroner Christopher Sumner and the Mbt Women's Jahi Sport

Vans Golden Coast Era

Vans Golden Coast Era

Mr Smith replied: "No, we were all good mates," adding Vans Golden Coast Era that he had no recollection of any confrontation or threats, which the solicitor alleged, had been made by Francis to John weeks earlier.

The boys, whose mobile phones were damaged by water, say they ran to nearby homes to raise the alarm.

He replied: "I said (to her) don't blame me It wasn't my fault I didn't do anything to John that night. I said it was tragic accident people were calling us murderers and stuff like that."

Questioned on whether Francis had been banging a paddle on the side of the raft to stop others who fell into the water getting on, Smith replied: "I don't remember that."

Vans Golden Coast Era

Vans Golden Coast Era

who were with John

and the other lads on the raft?"

Asked by Mr Haygarth whether John had been stopped from getting on their raft, Croft, responded: "No"

Francis says he went back to the fire, Devine who swiftly headed home to get out of cold, wet clothes says John was sitting on the raft when he left.

The group say that after sharing three large bottles of strong cider and listening to music on a mobile phone on wasteland near the pond known as Mbt Shoes Chatswood

Vans Golden Coast Era

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