The primary responsibility for the safety of young children must rest with their parents, a Norfolk coroner has concluded at the inquest of a three-year-old boy killed near a funfair.

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Rio Bell was pronounced dead in hospital after he slipped from his mother’s grasp and ran straight into the path of a car during a visit to the King’s Lynn Mart on February 15.

The inquest heard Rio had been spotted walking in the road with his eight-year-old brother just two hours before the accident, while his mother Kelly Rawlinson and her partner Martin Daw, of Lowestoft, walked some distance behind.

Greater Norfolk Coroner William Armstrong said he would write to West Norfolk Council asking it to explore further safety measures during the historic fair, he was satisfied the driver was completely blameless.

“I don’t wish to add to the distress and anguish of Rio’s family, but the primary responsibility for young children must rest with those having care of them,” he said.

“At the time of this tragedy, Rio was not under suitable control or supervision. He should have been under very close and direct control.

“Under the circumstances, he should have had reigns, been in a buggy or had his hand held.

“It pains me to say that.”

Read tomorrow’s EDP for more.

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