Family of Molly Russell have been granted legal aid to fund the teenager’s inquest following an appeal. The Legal Aid Agency (LAA) yesterday reversed its initial ruling that the case was not “a matter of wider public interest” and that the family should pay for representation themselves.
Ian Russell, Molly’s father, said the decision “had lifted a weight” from his family, who are seeking answers from social media giants about harmful material their daughter viewed in the lead-up to her death.
He said: “I am delighted that the Legal Aid Agency has reconsidered their decision and I would like to thank everyone for the many offers of support we have received.
“This decision is a weight lifted from our family and we now look ahead to a full and fearless inquest into Molly’s death.”
Molly took her life six days before her 15th birthday in 2017 after viewing self-harm and suicide material on sites such as Instagram and Pinterest.
The Russell family believe that the images Molly saw contributed to her state of mind and eventual death and have sought legal aid to ensure that the circumstances around her suicide are thoroughly investigated.
The coroner in the inquest has written to Facebook, which owns Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and Apple asking them to hand over all relevant information on the case.