Inquest reaches verdict into death of 12-year-old Trevyn Joslin after she was injured in PE lesson at Taverham High School

12-year-old Trevyn Joslin who died after an accident during a PE lesson at Taverham High School. 12-year-old Trevyn Joslin who died after an accident during a PE lesson at Taverham High School.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013
5:12 PM

A 12-year-old girl who fell from a pommel horse during a school gymnastics lesson died of an accident, an inquest jury has ruled.

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Flowers and tributes to pupil Trevyn Joslin outside Taverham High School. Photo: Steve AdamsFlowers and tributes to pupil Trevyn Joslin outside Taverham High School. Photo: Steve Adams

Trevyn Joslin was injured at Taverham High School on March 12 this year, and died at Addenbrooke’s Hospital one week later.

Floral tributes for tragic Taverham pupil Trevyn Joslin

Taverham High School’s tribute to Trevyn Joslin

Peter Whear, headteacher of Taverham High School, paid tribute to Trevyn Joslin following the inquest into her death.

He said: “Taverham was Trevyn’s school and Trevyn played a big role within our community

“She always had a smile on her face and will be remembered with great fondness by staff and students who continue to talk about her with warmth and affection.

“We also wish to pay tribute to Trevyn’s parents for the dignity and poise they have shown all along, and as they now seek to rebuild their lives.
“This was a tragic accident which nobody could have foreseen happening. We take the safety of our students extremely seriously and the school has since carried out a full and comprehensive review of all its health and safety procedures.

“We will never forget Trevyn. The memorial garden at our school, which was created by students, is much loved and well-tended and is quiet place where all can sit and reflect.

“The cherry tree planted in Trevyn’s memory will be a lasting tribute to her and the contribution she made to our school and the lives of her fellow students.”

The jury at Norfolk Coroner’s Court this morning heard that Trevyn, who lived in Century Way, Thorpe Marriott, was taking the third lesson in which she had used the pommel horse.

Assistant headteacher Shirley Naisby, who took the PE lesson, the students had rotated around three types of apparatus during the lesson, and were given a choice of which to use for the final 10 to 15 minutes, and Trevyn chose the pommel horse.

She said: “She ran up perfectly well coordinated. Her right foot caught the front end of the horse and she toppled forward, landing face down on the crash mat, almost in the recovery position.”

Ms Naisby said she had been by the trampette, which students were using for the first time, but could see the whole class and rushed across the hall to Trevyn after the accident.

Staff called an ambulance, and Trevyn was taken first to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, and then Addenbrooke’s.

Ms Naisby said: “She was very confident. She was enthusiastic. She really enjoyed her gymnastics. She was one of the better gymnasts in the group.”

The jury heard she had suffered a serious neck condition, spinal osteomyelitis, in 2001, which was treated at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and Addenbrooke’s Hospital.

A letter from her GP Kingsley Betts, read at the hearing, said that after reviewing an x-ray of her neck 10 years later, he had told her parents she should not do contact sports, or gymnastics or trampolining.

Lynne Hammond, who was responsible for overseeing first aid at the school at the time, said the school had been aware of her medical condition, but she had overlooked ticking a box to flag it up on Trevyn’s class list.

However, police said no failings were found with staff at the school, and agreed with the coroner it was a “tragic accident”.

Health and safety inspector Paul Unwin, who visited the school on the day of the incident, agreed, and said there were no concerns about the equipment or the way it was laid out, and the school “seemed to be quite exemplary”.

A note on her post mortem report said: “It appears that what happened here could have caused a fatal injury even with someone with an anatomically normal neck.”

Assistant coroner David Osborne told the jury of five men and three women that an accidental verdict was the only one open to them.

Trevyn’s parents Derrick and Hannah, who were present at the inquest, asked for their privacy to be respected.

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