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Friday, January 31, 2020

Parents responsible for Nora Anne's death, says defendant

The defendant being sued over the death of Franco-Irish teenager Nora Anne Quoirin claimed that the deceased’s parents should bear ultimate responsibility for the tragedy.
Helen Todd, 66, said this is because The Dusun resort, where the 15-year-old deceased (above) and her parents Sebastien Marie Philippe Quoirin and Meabh Josephine Quoirin had stayed in August last year, never had any security incidents over the past 35 years.
In the parents’ suit against Todd, whom they claimed was the operator and proprietor of the resort, they alleged that the resort had been negligent because there were no security personnel and no closed-circuit television cameras (CCTV) present on its premises.
In her Statement of Defence, Todd said that The Dusun was designed as a jungle retreat incorporating an open concept, which resulted in no security personnel being present, among others.

“Furthermore, the nature of the resort is designed to provide a “jungle” retreat. It incorporates an open concept for its patrons. This nature of the resort is made known on its website and its terms and conditions.
“Consequently, in keeping with the nature and size of the resort, no security personnel and other security measures were in place. Significantly, there have been no security issues or concerns at the resort for the past 35 years,” the Statement of Claim read.
Todd explained that at the time of the incident, she was not aware of the mental age, physical, and mental conditions and the associated difficulties of the deceased.
The defendant pointed out that police investigations concluded there were neither any foul play nor criminal element involved in relation to the disappearance and death of the teenager, with the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) having classified the case as requiring “No Further Action” (NFA).
“In addition, the post-mortem results reveal that the cause of death of the deceased was gastrointestinal bleeding attributable to starvation.
“The defendant avers that the plaintiffs as parents are responsible for the care and safety of the deceased at all material times.
“Consequently, the plaintiffs should be held wholly and/or howsoever otherwise responsible for the alleged loss and damages,” the Statement of Defence said.
Todd also claimed that at the material time of the incident, she was not the operator or proprietor of The Dusun and not the sole proprietor of the business. She further denied that she ran the holiday resort without a business licence.
On Jan 4, the family’s lawyer Sankara Nair confirmed that the civil suit was filed at the Seremban Sessions Court Registry.
Checks at the online cause list at ecourtservices.kehakiman.gov.my showed that the matter is listed for case management before the court on Feb 14.
Todd's Statement of Defence was filed by law firm Thomas Philip, at the Seremban Sessions Court Registry around midday today.
Nora was reported missing the day after she and her family’s arrival at the resort on Aug 3 last year.
A large search and rescue operation ensued and her nude body was found 10 days later, 2.5km from the resort.
The incident received significant international media attention.
At the time, police said she had died of gastrointestinal bleeding, possibly due to stress and starvation.
Police did not find signs of abduction or rape, and ruled out foul play.
On Jan 8, the AGC announced that the victim’s case has been classified as NFA.
Nora's parents Meabh and Sebastian, however, believed many questions remain unanswered.
"To think that Nora might get up in the middle of the night, naked, barefoot, get out of the bungalow into the jungle, bearing in mind the terrain is extremely steep and dangerous, in total darkness - makes no sense.
"We think it is absurd to think about this possibility," Sebastian had told Irish broadcaster RTE. - Mkini

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