A verdict of accidental death has been reached at the inquest of a couple who died in a luxury hotel.

Police were called to Down Hall Country House Hotel, just outside of Sawbridgeworth, in April last year to reports of two people being found dead in the pool.

Komba Kpakiwa, 31, and Josephine Newahun Foday, 22, were celebrating Miss Foday’s birthday at the luxury resort.

Post-mortem examinations found the couple, who could not swim, drowned.

Miss Foday was a nursing student from Plumstead, south-east London, and Mr Kpakiwa was a married father-of-two from Erith.

The inquest in Chelmsford heard how the couple had been seen playing in the water.

Neither of them could swim and there was no lifeguard.

Essex coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray ruled the deaths as accidental.