Woman not guilty of Qld boy's bus death

·1-min read

Two years after the death of a toddler left on a hot minibus in far north Queensland, a former child care worker has been found not guilty of manslaughter.

Dionne Batrice Grills, 36, has walked free after a jury took just over four hours to reach the verdict in the Supreme Court trial in Cairns.

Ms Grills was charged along with the bus driver, former centre director Michael Glenn Lewis, after three-year-old Maliq Nicholas Floyd Namok-Malamoo died of heat stress in February 2020.

Ms Grills was on the bus that picked up the little boy who was supposed to be taken to the Goodstart Early Learning centre at Edmonton.

However, the child was left on the bus when it was parked for the day outside Hambledon State School, about 1.7km from the childcare centre.

His body was found in the vehicle, still buckled to his seat, almost six hours later at 3.15pm.

Police had to wait to interview Lewis after the boy's body was discovered because he had become so distressed he required hospital treatment.

Lewis pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to six years' jail in 2021.

Goodstart Early Learning was also fined $71,000 after pleading guilty to failing to adequately supervise children, failing to protect children from harm/hazard likely to cause injury and failing to take reasonable steps to ensure documentation is accurate.

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