LEGAL aid chiefs made an embarrassing U-turn – after changing their mind on refusing tragic Molly Russell’s family funding for her inquest.
The Government Agency had stunned her dad after declaring the hearing on the teenager’s suicide was not “a matter of wider public interest”.
But it reversed the decision after an appeal and said the family WOULD get aid to cover their costs for Molly’s inquest.
Dad Ian Russell 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 own life in 2017 in the week before her 15th birthday after she watched suicide material online on social media.
Her family think it was key to what happened to her and want it fully investigated.
It is unusual for the LAA to fund aid for legal representation and only does so in very few cases.
Its original letter to the family said: “We do not see how and why the investigation in this matter will inevitably lead to significant and material benefits to a large cohort of specific persons”.
The Russell family’s lawyer Merry Varney said: “We welcome the decision by the LAA to reconsider legal aid for the Russell family.
“However, it is disappointing that our clients had to go through the appeal process to get to a positive outcome and many other families are not successful in their appeals and cannot afford to bring a judicial review against the LAA.
“This leaves them either reliant on lawyers working for free, fundraising or having to represent themselves at their loved one’s inquest, completely unqualified and unprepared against experienced legal teams on the other side.”