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Nora Quoirin inquest told how she never could have scaled fence

Head of tragic teenager's school tells inquest of her balance issues


Death: Nora Quoirin was missing for nine days

Death: Nora Quoirin was missing for nine days

Death: Nora Quoirin was missing for nine days

The head teacher of a French-Irish teenager found dead in the Malaysian jungle has said she would not have walked off by herself.

Michael Reeves was giving evidence at the inquest into the death of 15-year-old Nora Quoirin.

She vanished from her family's cottage at the Dusun eco-resort in southern Negeri Sembilan state on August 4 last year - a day after her family arrived on holiday.

Her body was found two miles from the resort nine days later.

Nora's Belfast-born mother and French father, Meabh and Sebastien, say she was kidnapped, as she could not have wandered off on her own due to her mental and physical disabilities.

She was born with holoprosencephaly, a disorder that affects brain development, and attended Garratt Park School in Wandsworth in south-west London, which teaches special needs children.

Yesterday, as the inquest into her death resumed, head teacher Mr Reeves said it was "unimaginable" that she could have climbed a fence to leave the resort.

He also said Nora "wouldn't have the confidence to walk on her own".

Mr Reeves (59) described how Nora enrolled in the school in September 2015.

She could only follow simple instructions and did not converse with strangers, he said. "She lacked confidence in other people and sometimes she had trouble (with it)... at times she was always cheerful and had a strong sense of right and wrong," he told the inquest.

Nora's mother has previously told the inquest that she believes her daughter was abducted.

She described hearing "muffled whispering" inside the family's chalet on the night her daughter disappeared when giving evidence earlier this month.

However, authorities insist there was no foul play.

Yesterday Mr Reeves, who was giving evidence via videolink, was asked if it was possible that Nora climbed out through a window, roughly at the waist height of an adult.

He said she was incapable of doing so due to her physical limitations.

"Nora was much obviously much shorter than an average adult. So waist-height for an adult would be getting on to chest height for Nora and I just can't imagine her having either the skill or balance or strength to climb over something like that," he said, according to a report of the inquest published in the Malay Mail.

It was "just highly, highly unlikely," he said, adding that Nora was conscious of her disabilities.

Mr Reeves said the teenager would have found it "exceptionally difficult" to walk over rough terrain filled with stones and tree branches or through perimeter fencing.

He added: "Even for a short distance it would have been very difficult. The idea of Nora climbing fencing is unimaginable. I simply would not believe she would do that."

Mr Reeves said Nora would have been frightened to find herself out in the dark in a foreign country.

"I would envisage her shouting for her parents. I would expect her to close up and stay still wherever she was," he said.

The inquest is due to resume on November 23.

Belfast Telegraph