Letter: It is terrible that the mother of Alexia Walenkaki must wait two years for an inquest

Alexia Walenkaki
Alexia Walenkaki died when a rotting playground swing collapsed on her in Mile End park in July 2015. Photograph: Family handout

The whole community in Tower Hamlets must support Vida Kwotuah , the mother of Alexia Walenkaki, the little five-year-old girl who died in a fatal swing accident in Mile End Park in July 2015.

It is terrible enough for her to lose her beloved daughter but to have to wait two years for an inquest.  How long does it take to examine a rotten piece of wood?

The coroner blames the police for the inhumane delay.  The investigators blame the coroner for timetabling problems to organise an inquest with a jury.  How long does it take to bring together between seven and 11 honest men and women together to listen to the facts? A week?

As the East End Citizen reported, Mrs Kwotuah has now been refused legal aid.

What sort of a country do we live in when someone in such circumstances is refused the right to be properly represented?  The authorities should hang their heads in shame.

There are many unanswered questions to be answered about this case.

Why was the playground closed for maintenance just before the accident and what sort of condition was it left in?

Are rumours that CCTV cameras were interfered with immediately after the accident true?  If so, what was the purpose? Was CCTV footage preserved? Who supplied the equipment and was it properly maintained and inspected? What were the details of the Section 106 grant that originally paid for the swing?

Photographs of broken, rotten, wooden swing equipment published in the press speaks for itself.

Mrs Kwotuah  is a fighter. Sadly, we can not turn the clock back to that fateful day when little Alexia died.

What we can do is to change things so that such tragic accidents never happen again in Tower Hamlets and nationally. Change starts with the community.

Andy Erlam


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