Molly Russell’s grieving father STILL isn’t allowed to access his 14-year-old daughter’s phone took years after she took her own life
- Ian Russell, of Harrow, north west London, has been denied the digital contents
- Molly was found dead in 2017 after allegedly viewing self-harm images online
- Mr Russell said the phone’s data could provide him and his wife with closure
The grief-stricken father of Molly Russell has issued an emotional plea to be allowed access to his daughter’s phone – two whole years after the schoolgirl tragically took her own life.
Ian Russell, of Harrow, north west London, has been denied the digital contents of the 14-year-old’s mobile which is still being trawled through by police.
Molly was found dead in her bedroom in 2017 after allegedly viewing disturbing self-harm images on Instagram.
As the family continue their desperate search for answers, Mr Russell said that the phone’s data of the days leading up to his daughter’s death could help him and his wife get closure.
Molly Russell was found dead in her bedroom in 2017 after allegedly viewing disturbing self-harm images on Instagram
Father Ian Russell has issued an emotional plea to be allowed access to his daughter’s phone – two whole years after the schoolgirl tragically took her own life
‘It would be lovely to have access to the clips and photos that are no doubt on those devices and to be able to hear her voice again, see messages and understand a bit more about her life,’ the TV producer told the Sunday Telegraph.
‘On another level there may be stuff on those electronic devices that throw a completely new light on all of this.’
In the aftermath of her death, Molly’s iPhone was handed to Apple technicians who tried to access her material, but they failed to crack its complex encryption.
During the inquest, the coroner demanded that it be given to police for examination – a request which Molly’s parents were forced to comply with.
Although the tragic schoolgirl’s physical possessions passed to her mother and father, digital data did not, Mr Russell claimed.
Mr Russell been denied the digital contents of the 14-year-old’s (pictured in 2009) mobile which is still being trawled through by police
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.’
The mourning father has called on the government to move to present parents like him clear legal routes of obtaining their children’s phone data.
Before Molly died in November two years ago, she showed ‘no obvious signs’ of mental health problems.
Her family later found she had been viewing material on social media linked to anxiety, depression, self-harm and suicide and her father accused Instagram of ‘helping to kill her.’
He hit out at the social media giant’s algorithms which he believed would promote disturbing content.
Ian Russell said the algorithms used by Instagram enabled Molly to view more harmful content, possibly contributing to her death. Pictured: Molly on holiday aged six (left) and aged 11
Earlier this year in the wake of an inquest into her death, he said: ‘We are very keen to raise awareness of the harmful and disturbing content that is freely available to young people online.
‘Not only that, but the social media companies, through their algorithms, expose young people to more and more harmful content, just from one click on one post.
‘In the same way that someone who has shown an interest in a particular sport may be shown more and more posts about that sport, the same can be true of topics such as self-harm or suicide.’
His emotional call for action prompted Adam Mosseri, Instagram’s boss, to announce he was reworking the platform’s policies to remove all graphic content.
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