Blessing Olusegun death: 'I do not think she would have willingly got into the water'

An inquest into the death of a young woman who was found drowned in Bexhill heard that she would not have gone ‘willingly into the water’.

Blessing Olusegun, 21, was found near Galley Hill early in the morning on September 18, 2020.

The 21-year-old business student from South London, who was living in Glyne Drive, Bexhill, had been on a week-long work placement in the town where she was working as a carer.According to her family, her last message was sent to a family friend at 1.25am on September 18, 2020 almost five hours before her body was found.

Sussex Police said her death was non-suspicious but campaigners called for a full investigation to determine what happened to her.

Blessing Ayomide Adetutu Olusegun's body was found on a Bexhill beach on September 18

Blessing’s family and friends fought for answers with tens of thousands of people signing an online petition on, called Justice4Blessing.

Blessing’s body was found on the beach between Glyne Gap and Galley Hill by a dog walker.

Her shoes, mobile phone and a packet of cigarettes were found nearby.

Police were notified and an investigation launched.

PC Sally Blick, who attended the scene, said at the inquest on Tuesday (May 24): “We received a report saying that the body of a woman had been found washed up on the beach in Galley Hill. There were no marks to suggest any suspicious circumstances.”

PC Lee Sumner said Blessing was on an area of the beach that would have been submerged in water at high tide.

The inquest heard Blessing, who was born in Nigeria, could not swim.

Dr Anna Rycroft, pathologist, said a post-mortem revealed the findings were ‘highly compatible’ with Blessing having drowned.

Blessing’s mother Esther Abe paid tribute to her daughter at the inquest and added that Blessing was aiming to start her own make-up academy.

She said: “Blessing was always there for others, looking out for other people, especially children. She was so fond of children and was hoping to have children herself one day.

"In 2017 she had an idea to set up a charity with me to help support children in Nigeria. She wanted to support under-privileged young people. In 2019 Blessing and I set up our charity as co-directors, which involved distributing academic supplies to schoolchildren in Nigeria.

"She started working for a local nursery in 2019 and began a degree in business management.

"Her friend Christiana worked as a carer and Blessing was accepted by Agincare in April 2020. Blessing was intending to set up a make-up academy and this was what she was saving up for while working as a carer.

"Blessing took her strength from her Christian faith.”

She added that the discovery of her daughter’s phone on the beach was ‘totally out of character’.

She said: “I do not think she would have willingly got into the water. I do not believe she would have intended to harm herself by entering the water deliberately. I believe it could have been an accident or third party involvement.”

In a statement, Blessing’s friend Christiana Sofolabo said: “She was more like a sister than a friend. She was so funny and we got each other’s sense of humour completely.”

Coroner Alan Craze concluded that Blessing’s cause of death was accidental.