'Full of life' Cleckheaton boy died in play rope tragedy

Josef Kazzan

Josef Kazzan

First published in News

Medics fought a frantic battle to save the life of a schoolboy found balancing by his chin from a play rope in his garden, an inquest has heard.

Josef Kazzan’s heart stopped six times after his mum found him caught up in the seatbelt-type rope hanging from a willow tree at his home in Woodlands Drive, Cleckheaton .

Bradford Coroner Peter Straker described the tragedy as “unspeakably sad” and recorded it as an accident.

Yesterday, the nine-year-old’s mum, Rachel Cullens, described to the Bradford inquest how she screamed and climbed the tree after spotting him.

“I could see Jo’s chin was just balancing on the rope. We were amazed he hadn’t fallen. It seemed he was just dangling there,” she said.

Moments before, Josef’s father Ahmed had searched for him in the house after noticing the garden had gone quiet and a sandwich had been left uneaten on the table outside.

The inquest heard how, alerted by screams, Mr Kazzan rushed into the garden and went to the tree, taking his son’s weight from the rope and getting him to the ground. Both parents then started resuscitating him.

Josef’s heart stopped three more times in the ambulance before arriving at Dewsbury District Hospital, where a scan showed a severe brain injury.

The next day he was transferred to the intensive care unit at Leeds General Infirmary where his heart stopped another three times.

The youngster went on to deteriorate and he died on July 16 with his family around him.

The cause of death was brain injury caused by asphyxiation from hanging.

In her statement, Josef’s mother described him as “very much an outdoor boy, full of life and energy – always on the go playing.”

Josef, who had an older sister Nadia and a younger brother Sam, was a pupil at St Patrick’s Primary School in Birstall . He also played football for Drighlington Under 10s .

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