THE mother of tragic toddler Rachel Nuttall who drowned in a pond in May broke down in tears during an inquest held in Blackburn.
Two-year-old Rachel was found in a pond in fields at the back of the family's farm after wandering off while playing with her older brother James, 11, and sister Suzanne, 12.
At the time, her family including her parents Andrew, 43, and Suzanne, 34, of Higher Eden Farm, Elton Road, Belthorn, were too devastated to talk to the Observer about the tragic incident.
Last Friday, the inquest heard the results of the post-mortem examination which confirmed that Rachel had died by drowning. The East Lancashire Coroner Michael Singleton recorded a verdict of accidental death.
In a statement read by the coroner, Mrs Nuttall said: "At around 7.30pm on 1 May, Rachel had been playing outside with James and Suzanne was nearby.
"At some point James came into the house.
"He has since told me that when he went back outside they had gone away and he went in to watch Coronation Street.
"Later on I went outside to call for her. I went to the milking parlour where Suzanne had gone to help her uncle Tom. I asked where Rachel was and she said she didn't know.
"After searching on the farm I found our dog which was on its own. Rachel was always with it and I began to panic.
"I shouted for Rachel and the dog raced off. I followed it until I came to a pond and Rachel was in the middle of it.
"I waded in, but the depth varied. At times I was up to my chest. I took her out and she was gurgling and vomiting."
The inquest then heard her parents flagged down a car on the road and the driver got out and tried to revive Rachel by giving her mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
He then called the emergency services on his mobile phone and she was taken to Blackburn Royal Infirmary where she was later pronounced dead.
In a statement read by the coroner, Mr Nuttall said: "I don't know why Rachel was by the pond and to the best of my knowledge it is not somewhere that she had ever played before.
"I have asked Suzanne and James why she was left alone.
"James said he thought she was with Suzanne and Suzanne had gone into the parlour and thought she was with James."