1976 Lido death: £20,000 reward for help solving Enrico Sidoli mystery
Appeal follows New Journal's interview with the family and calls for pool case to be re-opened
06 July, 2017 — By Richard Osley
Enrico, far left, with his family
DETECTIVES investigating the death of a 15-year-old boy following an incident at Parliament Hill Lido over 40 years ago are offering a £20,000 reward for information.
Enrico Sidoli died in hospital on 19 July 1976 after being pulled unconscious from Parliament Hill Lido in Hampstead 11 days earlier.
The New Journal revealed how the family wanted to get the case looked at again on the 40th anniversary last year. It is understood the coverage in the newspaper led the new talks between the relatives and police.
Enrico had gone to the open-air pool on 8 July 1976 with his sister and her children. At around 14.30hrs, a lifeguard was alerted that Enrico was unresponsive in the pool and pulled him out of the water. Witnesses who came forward at the time and in the following years said that Enrico had become involved in an argument with a group of boys.
He was said to have been assaulted and then thrown into the pool, and detectives believe that he may have been held underwater for a period of time.
Enrico recovered consciousness after hospital treatment, but he died on 19 July. A post mortem gave cause of death as irreversible brain damage caused by cardiac arrest. Since Enrico’s death, police have carried out extensive enquiries, taking more than 1,100 witness accounts and launching public appeals for information.
Two people have been interviewed under caution as part of the investigation. A 16-year-old boy was interviewed by officers in September 1976, and a 25-year-old man was interviewed in August 1986. No further action was taken.
There have been no arrests or charges.
Now detectives from the Met’s Special Casework Investigation Team are revisiting the case in a fresh bid to find out what happened that day.
In particular, police would like to trace and speak to a potential key witness – a man that can be seen in a picture taken by a photographer of the moments after Enrico was recovered from the water and being resuscitated at the side of the pool.
A £20,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction of the person responsible is being offered by the Metropolitan Police Service. Separately to this reward, a member of Enrico’s family has committed to match-fund the reward and offer an additional £20,000.
DI Susan Stansfield, of the Met’s Special Casework Investigation Team said: “This tragic incident happened on a hot summer’s day, and there were hundreds of schoolchildren and families at the pool. Investigators at the time spoke to dozens of witnesses. We believe that there are others who saw what happened and have vital information that could assist us. Detectives’ efforts to find out what happened that day have been hampered by a lack of information from reliable witnesses.”
Police want to trace this man
She added: “We would urge anyone who was at the pool that day and has information relating to Enrico’s death to do the right thing and come forward and help us with our investigation. Your information could unlock this case and give Enrico’s family some answers. A picture was taken just after Enrico was rescued from the water, and it shows a dark-haired man swimming in the pool. He has never been traced or spoken to by police, and we would be very interested to talk to him about what he saw that day.
“I hope that after 41 years, any witnesses who were too scared of, or had loyalties to, the people involved at the time will now find the courage to contact police.”
Elizabeth Brown, Enrico’s sister, said: “On that day it was as if the light went out of our mother’s life. She was consumed by grief, pain and despair. Enrico was her eldest son and the light of her life, and to have been stolen from her so cruelly was unbearable. Enrico’s father and all of us, her other children, were unable to console her as we were also in shock and numb with grief. No family should go through this ordeal. Enrico’s mother died of a broken heart. Her only wish was to know who did this to her son, and why. Enrico’s father died also asking the same question. We, his brother and sisters, have lived with this dark shadow over our lives for over 40 years.
She added: “Time has passed but the pain has not diminished. We have never stopped loving or missing our brother, we desperately need your help so that this question can be answered and Enrico can have the justice he deserved. Please help us find those responsible for Enrico’s death. Please, if you know anything, come forward.”
Iolanda Sidoli, Enrico’s sister said: “I was 13 when we lost Enrico. The pain of losing him has never gone. I remember crying uncontrollably. I was a child whose heart was broken and have never really recovered from the loss. When Enrico died, we all died. Our mother and father suffered terribly. Our mother never recovering from his terrible death, spending days and nights by his grave. But the worse thing is how Enrico must have suffered at the hands of the cruel people who took his life.
She added: “He couldn’t swim. I think how frightened he was, with no-one there to help him. If it was you who committed this terrible act towards an innocent kind young boy, then I think the time has come for you to come forward.
“Maybe you have children, even grandchildren. Is this playing on your mind? What you did didn’t just end Enrico’s life; it ended his entire family’s lives. How can you live with this? It must be eating you away inside. Are you suffering like we are suffering. My whole life and that of my family was ruined the day Enrico died, and that was because of you.”
- If you were at Parliament Hill Lido and saw what happened to Enrico on 8 July 1976, or if you have any information that could assist police with their enquiries, please call the Met’s Specialist Case Investigation Team on 020 7230 7963. Alternatively, email SCO1Mailbox-.EnricoSidoliAppeal@met.police.uk, Tweet @MetCC, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.