Two-year old girl found trapped with her Zimbabwean father’s dead body in the UK


    An inquest heard the remains of Preachwell Kumbula were discovered at his home in Golborne by a housing manager. His daughter, Makayla, was pitifully knocking at a patio window to get out.

    Bolton Coroner’s Court was told Mr Kumbula’s hopes of a new life in Britain after fleeing Robert Mugabe’s brutal regime in Zimbabwe turned to tragedy.

    After seeking asylum, the 25-year-old moved from Slough to Wigan with his partner, Ziana Anderson, and Makayla 11 months prior to his death.

    A pathologist was unable to conclude what killed him nor how long he had lain dead. Traces of alcohol and amphetamine were found in his system, but not to a lethal level, and it was understood he had heart problems. The young man had come to the UK in September 2002, to attend a wedding, but decided to stay and sought asylum in Slough, where he settled.

    In a statement read to the court in her absence, cousin Patience Kupaza said that contact with him was irregular, but on the few occasions she had contact with him, he was drunk, which is frowned upon in Zimbabwean culture.

    In 2007 Preachwell, who could not work because of his asylum status, got together with his partner, and although she was not in court a statement she had given to police was read out.

    It said that Mr Kumbula had told her he had an irregular heartbeat and suffered migraines, which were sometimes so bad that he cried out in pain.

    She said he was addicted to cannabis, which he smoked every day, and she knew his other friends took other drugs too, but she had warned him about the people he was friends with.

    The weekend before his death, Friday, May 21, housing manager for Priority Properties, Gary Molyneux, had gone to Mr Kumbula’s house on Church Street to deliver some child gates he had requested, but got no answer, and his keys did not work, so he left.

    He said: “On Monday, May 24, I tried to call at the house again at about 1pm and I still had the keys, but they could not gain access.

    “I went round to the back to see if I could see anything and the child came to the patio doors and started knocking on the glass.

    “I told her to go and get her mum and dad but she couldn’t understand.”

    Mr Moyneux tried to find someone who could gain access to the house, and a short time later help arrived.

    They managed to get into the house through an upstairs bedroom window, and were struck by a foul smell straight away.

    “Once inside they discovered Mr Kumbula dead in his bed next to his daughter’s cot.

    After the discovery, it transpired Miss Anderson, who has since moved back to Slough with her daughter, had been admitted to Leigh Infirmary with mental health problems on the Friday and left her partner to care for their daughter.

    Pathologist Stephen Mills found traces of alcohol and amphetamines in Mr Kumbula’s blood, but not at levels that could have caused his death.

    Deputy Coroner, Alan Walsh, said: “The way Mr Kumbula was found is very very sad, extremely so for his daughter who was running about the house where her father was in the bedroom decomposing, a situation that is too horrendous to imagine.

    “To Mr Molyneux I am grateful to you for raising the alarm and it must have been a very unpleasant experience for you.”

    The coroner recorded an open verdict.