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Refoel Berkovits with his family.

A four-year-old boy from Golders Green has drowned in a swimming pool in a Spanish holiday resort.

Refoel Berkovits, son of Moses David Berkovits and his wife Dena, died at around 9pm local time on Sunday at a house in Mijas on the Costa del Sol, a spokesman for Ayuntamiento de Mijas, the area’s local authority, confirmed.

He added that 20 people were at the property when the childdrowned. Emergency services arrived at the scene but the boy could not be saved. An aunt of the dead boy told the Evening Standard: “It’s a very sad and distressing story. We will leave it at that.”

A family friend added: “Refoel was such a nice child and we are all so very sorry for the family’s loss. They are very loving and warm and this is a sad day for us all.”

The incident occurred in the Mijas Golf resort in Las Lagunas, Mijas.

According to Spanish newspaper Diario Sur, the boy’s parents were having dinner with friends when he fell into the pool as he was running around with older children at the back of the property. A 15-year-old boy sounded the alarm, the report added. The family returned with the body on Tuesday ahead of the funeral on Wednesday.

It’s believed the parents have asked lawyers to appeal against a traditional post mortem examination on religious grounds, instead requesting a non-invasive scan.