Molly Russell inquest: Family urges action on harmful contenton October 7, 2022 at 7:36 am

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Molly Russell’s father says “there is no time for delay” in stopping children seeing harmful content.

Molly RussellImage source, Russell family

The father of 14-year-old Molly Russell says his family is still “numb” about the inquest verdict into her death.

It found social media content contributed “more than minimally” to Molly’s death in 2017 from an act of self-harm while suffering depression.

The coroner said images Molly saw of self-harm and suicide “shouldn’t have been available for a child to see”.

Ian Russell said: “When the verdict came in, I think we were quite numb and we’re still processing it.”

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “It was exhausting for us as a family. It was two weeks in court, but five years since Molly died.

“It’s just an extraordinary, overwhelming grief that I think probably is one of the strongest emotions that anyone can ever feel.

“So, the inquest itself couldn’t compete with those early days of of huge grief and just struggling to get by second by second sometimes.

“But it really did reconnect us with those moments and remind us how much we miss Molly and how much we wish she hadn’t seen that content and that she was still with us.”

Ian Russell, Molly's father

Image source, PA Media

Mr Walker, the senior coroner for north London, said Molly appeared a healthy girl who was flourishing at school, having settled well into secondary school life, and displayed an enthusiastic interest in the performing arts.

However, Molly had become depressed, something common in children of this age, the coroner said. The inquest was told her condition worsened into a depressive illness.

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Mr Russell has called for urgent changes to make children safer online after Molly took her own life.

He said: “The current government has said that they want the UK to be the safest place in the world to be online and yet we’re still here and we’re not regulating the platforms.

“It’s clear to me that the age of self regulation on internet platforms must be ended for the sake and safety of our children and the politicians have said that they’ll be doing something about it, and the online safety bill hasn’t yet made its way out of the House of Commons.”

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