• Goodstart Early Learning childcare centre where Michael Lewis and centre employee Dionne Grills worked before being charged with manslaughter. (AAP)Source: AAP
The mother of a three-year-old boy who died inside a daycare minibus outside a childcare centre, has expressed grief and anger after magistrate drops charges against one of the childcare workers accused of manslaughter.
Douglas Smith

15 Feb 2021 - 2:24 PM  UPDATED 15 Feb 2021 - 2:24 PM

The mother of a three-year-old who died on a daycare minibus after he was left unattended by childcare workers in Cairns last year has expressed grief and anger at charges being dropped against one of the accused.

On February 20 last year, the body of Maliq Nicholas Floyd Namok-Malamoo, known to his family as "Meeky", was found on a Goodstart Early Learning centre minibus at Edmonton, south of Cairns, after being picked up from staff members. 

Police allege he was left unattended for up to six hours before his death, as temperatures reached 34 degree celsius throughout the day.

On Friday, his mother, Muriel Namok held a press conference, addressing a statement to the magistrate who dropped manslaughter charges against Dionne Batrice Grills, who picked her son up on the day of his death.

“My daughters and I, my families, make this statement expressing our grief and loathe towards the magistrate's decision on the 20th of January 2021 to acquit Dionne Batrice Grills on manslaughter charges that led to the tragic death of my three-year-old son,” said Ms Namok.

“It grieves me and my family that Dion walks free and my son cannot return to the freedom that he was blessed with.

“This cannot be justice. Adapting to a life without my son and my daughters having to adapt to living without their baby brother, has been extremely difficult to say the least.”


Last month, charges against former staff member, Dionne Batrice Grills, were dropped by a Cairns magistrate.

Ms Grills and former centre director, Michael Lewis were on the minibus when it picked up Maliq from his home, before he was found unresponsive six hours later.

Both Ms Grills and Mr Lewis were charged with manslaughter, however, its alleged Ms Grills exited the bus soon after picking Maliq up, which left the magistrate to drop her charge as there was a "very real possibility, if not probability" that she had passed on the duty of care to Mr Lewis, who was driving the minibus.

“Failure to uphold duty of care roles and responsibilities by Michael Glenn Lewis and Dion Beatrice Grills on February the 18th 2020, led to my worst nightmare, and a family’s worst nightmare,” said Ms Namok.

“As a mother to our first son, embracing the delight of growing Meeky up, has robbed me of my hopes and dreams of a mother and son relationship and the experiences.”

Ms Namok said her family wants justice and prayed a similar tragedy never happens to another family.

Mr Lewis has been committed to stand trial in the Supreme Court at a date to be set.

Man and woman granted bail over Indigenous toddler death in Cairns last week
UPDATE: A man and a woman were granted bail at the Cairns Magistrate Court today after being charged with manslaughter following the death of an Indigenous toddler who was left in a day-care minibus in 30 degree heat last week .

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