Nora Quoirin's family 'utterly disappointed' in coroner’s verdict

ireland
Nora Quoirin's Family 'Utterly Disappointed' In Coroner’s Verdict Nora Quoirin's Family 'Utterly Disappointed' In Coroner’s Verdict
Nora Quoirin
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By Michael McHugh, PA

The family of a French-Irish teenager found dead during a holiday in a Malaysian jungle said they were “utterly disappointed” in a coroner’s verdict of death through misadventure.

Nora Quoirin, 15, was discovered dead nine days after she went missing from the resort in August 2019.

Her family said testimony during the inquest in the south-east Asian state showed she was abducted, and branded Monday’s official findings “incomplete”.

Their statement added: “Once again we see that justice struggles to support the most vulnerable in society – only engaging with special needs at a surface level – and not at the level that truly reflects children like Nora.”

Coroner Maimoonah Aid’s verdict means Ms Quoirin’s death was ruled accidental rather than criminal.

The teenager was born with holoprosencephaly – a disorder which affects brain development.

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Her family added: “We believe we have fought not just for Nora but in honour of all the special needs children in this world who deserve our most committed support and the most careful application of justice.

“This is Nora’s unique legacy and we will never let it go.”

Her relatives recognised there was no physical evidence to aid the coroner.

Nora Quoirin (Lucie Blackman Trust/PA)

“Nonetheless, we are utterly disappointed by the coroner’s verdict of misadventure.

“We witnessed 80 slides presented to the court today, none of which engaged with who Nora really was – neither her personality nor her intellectual abilities.

“The verdict focused exclusively on physical evidence and physical mobility – which we believe, presents a very incomplete/select theory on how Nora came about her death.”

Ms Quoirin’s mother is from Belfast.

The teenager had poor motor skills, needed help to walk, and her mental age was about five or six, her parents previously said.

The family were staying at Dusun eco-resort near Seremban, about 40 miles south of the capital Kuala Lumpur.

They reported Ms Quoirin missing the day after they had arrived.

Her naked body was discovered beside a small stream about 1.6 miles from the resort.

Open window

Police previously said there was no sign the teenager had been abducted or raped, with a preliminary post-mortem investigation showing she succumbed to intestinal bleeding due to starvation and stress.

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On Monday, her family pointed to evidence of an opened window and said Ms Quoirin had neither the cognitive, nor physical means to leave the chalet by the window.

They also highlighted the loss of DNA evidence during the period it took her body to be found.

Their legal team had sought an open verdict from the inquest, indicating there may be suspicion of foul play, but no proof to the required level.

They said hundreds of volunteers and significant numbers of highly trained personnel had searched the surrounding area relentlessly, including where Ms Quoirin was found.

The charity for British nationals in crisis overseas, LBT Global, has been supporting the family since her disappearance and continues to do so.

Chief executive Matthew Searle said: “This is a hugely disappointing day for the family.

“It is clear that Nora could not have physically carried out the movements suggested.

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“It is crucial that to deliver a comprehensive verdict the coroner would have to have fully taken into account Nora’s condition – that they did so is not immediately apparent.

“We will support the family tirelessly as they move forward.”

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