More than 10,000 people have signed a petition asking the government to give legal aid to the family of a five-year-old killed by park tree.
Alexia Walenkaki was playing on a rope swing in Mile End Park, east London when a tree trunk holding the swing fell on her on July 17 last year. She suffered a cardiac arrest and died an hour later, the day before her sixth birthday.
An inquest into her death is due to start in January but her mother Vida Kwotuah has been denied legal aid because the case is ‘not in the public interest’.
Writing on her Change.org petition, Vida said: ‘It was a normal day for us with the school run and then a trip to the local park. It was time to go home but she pleaded with me "five more minutes mummy". I still remember everyday in slow motion, what happened next when a log-swing fell on her.
I later found out that Tower Hamlets Council who are responsible for the maintenance of the park had not done a maintenance check on the park for 21 months.
I have been refused legal aid to have a lawyer represent my family at Alexia's inquest. It doesn't seem fair. That's why I've started a petition to be granted legal-aid for my daughter's inquest.
‘I never thought I would ever be in a situation where I would have to start a petition, but I do not want anyone else to experience the loss and pain of losing a child'.
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