Nóra Quoirin’s family sue resort owner and call for inquest
Franco-Irish teenager found dead nine days after disappearing from Malaysian cottage
The family of late Franco-Irish teenager Nóra Quoirin (pictured) is suing the owner of the Malaysian resort she disappeared from for alleged negligence. Photograph: Quoirin Family/AFP/Getty Images.
The family of late Franco-Irish teenager Nóra Quoirin is suing the owner of the Malaysian resort she disappeared from for alleged negligence and has urged the government to hold an inquest to determine what happened to her.
Nóra’s disappearance from her family’s cottage at the Dusun eco-resort in southern Negeri Sembilan state on August 4th last sparked a massive search operation. Her body was discovered on August 13th beside a small stream about 2km from the resort.
Police said there was no sign that the 15-year-old was abducted or attacked, with a preliminary postmortem showing that she succumbed to intestinal bleeding due to starvation and stress.
Sankara Nair, a lawyer for the girl’s parents Meabh and Sebastien Quoirin, said the family strongly believed Nóra was abducted as she has mental and physical disabilities and could not have wandered off on her own.
The lawsuit says a cottage window was found ajar, with its latch broken, on the morning she disappeared. It says the resort gate was left open at all times without any security and there was no surveillance camera except for in the reception area.
Nóra had a brain condition called holoprosencephaly which limited her development. She had poor motor skills and needed help to walk, and her mental age was about five- or six-years-old, her parents say in the claim.
Mr Sankara said outside a court in Negeri Sembilan after a procedural session on the case: “The place was not safe for the child because of the negligence ...anybody could have come in and taken the child.”
The Quoirin family is seeking more than 180,000 ringgit (almost €40,000) over losses, bereavement costs and damages for pain and suffering from the resort owner, Helen Marion Todd.
Ms Todd’s lawyers were not immediately available for comment.
Mr Sankara said the family has asked Malaysia’s attorney-general to open an inquest because the postmortem inquiry would not include what happened to Nóra before her death. Police have said a complete postmortem report will be released soon.
Nóra’s parents previously said they were shocked when Malaysian prosecutors classified her death as requiring “no further action” based on the preliminary coroner’s report, essentially ruling out any inquest. They said the move could prevent justice being done.
In a statement issued by the Lucie Blackman Trust, a charity that helps British families in crisis overseas, Nóra’s London-based parents said: “It is crucial to understand how Nóra came to be found where she was.
“As a vulnerable child, with significant physical and mental challenges, we strongly refute any conclusion that Nóra was alone for the entire duration of her disappearance.
“We have repeatedly asked the police to clarify answers to our questions in this regard — and we have been repeatedly ignored.” - PA