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Tragic teen's father urges mobile phone law change

Ian Russell has called on the government to give grieving parents clear legal rights to their children's devices and online accounts to help give them answers (stock photo)
Ian Russell has called on the government to give grieving parents clear legal rights to their children's devices and online accounts to help give them answers (stock photo)

By Eleanor Busby

The father of a teenager who took her own life after viewing self-harm and suicide material on social media has called for a law change to allow parents to view their children's phones after death.

Ian Russell has called on the government to give grieving parents clear legal rights to their children's devices and online accounts to help give them answers.

Molly Russell died in 2017, aged 14. Her family, from north London, found material relating to depression and suicide when they looked at her Instagram account after her death.

Her father believes she may have had access to even darker material that they have not yet seen, but they are still locked out of her iPhone and iPod touch.

Now Mr Russell is calling on the next government to give parents' rights to their children's accounts and devices when they die as clips, photos and messages could bring comfort to families.

He said: "I think as a family we have had to find ways to move on and get closure and it has probably delayed that. It hasn't helped, and I don't think any family should have to go through that."

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