Mum’s tears for toddler, 3, after bus tragedy

THE heartbroken mum of a Cairns toddler left to die on a daycare bus has spoken out about her family's anguish and desperate bid for "justice".

Maliq Nicholas Floyd Namok-Malamoo, 3, known as "Meeky", was allegedly left on the Edmonton Goodstart Early Learning Centre bus on February 18 last year for more than six hours after being picked up by centre director Michael Lewis, 45, and worker Dionne Grills, 34.

Both were originally charged with his manslaughter and Mr Lewis has been committed to stand trial, but a magistrate last month found Ms Grills had no case to answer and dropped the charge.

 

Police officers examine the Goodstart Early Learning Centre minibus in Febuary 2020. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE
Police officers examine the Goodstart Early Learning Centre minibus in Febuary 2020. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE


Meeky's mum Muriel Namok bravely spoke out for the first time on Friday ahead of the tragic one-year anniversary of her only son's death.

"Adapting to a life without my son and my daughters having to adapt living without their baby brother has been extremely difficult to say the least," she said.

Maliq “Meeky” Namok-Malamoo, 3, died after he was left for six hours in a day care bus.
Maliq “Meeky” Namok-Malamoo, 3, died after he was left for six hours in a day care bus.

"My boy brought so much joy and laughter with his cheeky smiles and little boy mischief I sorely miss."

She spoke of the family having to cope through their first Christmas and birthday without him.

"As a mother to my first son, embracing the delight of growing up has robbed me of my hopes and dreams of a mother and son relationship and the experiences," she said.

Goodstart Early Learning Edmonton centre director Michael Glenn Lewis, 45, (left) has been committed to stand trial for manslaughter over the death of “Meeky”. PICTURE: STEWART McLEAN
Goodstart Early Learning Edmonton centre director Michael Glenn Lewis, 45, (left) has been committed to stand trial for manslaughter over the death of “Meeky”. PICTURE: STEWART McLEAN

"Enrolling Meeky in prep, his graduation, his first love, teaching to drive and his uncles teaching him to hunt and generational traditions to provide for his family was broken, stripped away from me on February 18, 2020."

Ms Namok said their family's plea was "for justice to prevail for Meeky".

"(Alleged) failure to uphold duty of care laws and responsibilities … on February 18, 2020 led to my worst nightmare, and a family's worst nightmare," she said.

A manslaughter charge was dropped against daycare worker Dionne Batrice Grills, 34, (left) in January.
A manslaughter charge was dropped against daycare worker Dionne Batrice Grills, 34, (left) in January.

"We pray this tragedy must not happen to any Australian child and any Australian family ever again."

She also reached out to pay tribute to people for their "love, support, prayers and acts of kindness" towards her family, particularly in Cairns and said her strong faith had "kept the light in me and my family through the darkness".

Originally published as Life without 'Meeky': Mum's tears for toddler, 3, after bus tragedy