Goodstart Early Learning Centre faces thousands of dollars in fines over three-year-old’s death in Cairns last year. Picture: ABC NEWS
Goodstart Early Learning Centre faces thousands of dollars in fines over three-year-old’s death in Cairns last year. Picture: ABC NEWS

New charges over child’s bus death

The childcare operator at the centre of the tragic death of a three-year-old boy who was left in a hot bus is facing thousands of dollars in fines after Education Queensland filed court action.

Maliq Nicholas Floyd Namok-Malamoo was left on the Edmonton Goodstart Early Learning minibus for almost six hours on a 34C day on February 18 last year.

His body was later found in the parked vehicle outside Hambledon State School in Cairns.

Maliq Nicholas Floyd Namok-Malamoo’s body was found on a Goodstart Early Learning centre bus at Edmonton, south of Cairns, in February 2020. Picture Supplied
Maliq Nicholas Floyd Namok-Malamoo’s body was found on a Goodstart Early Learning centre bus at Edmonton, south of Cairns, in February 2020. Picture Supplied

Former centre director and bus driver Michael Glenn Lewis and former child care worker Dionne Batrice Grill were both charged with manslaughter.

Lewis was sentenced in late February this year to six years' imprisonment with a non parole period of 18 months.

The case against Ms Grill was dropped after it was found she did not have duty of care of the child.

Goodstart Early Learning Edmonton centre director Michael Glenn Lewis, 45, (pictured with his solicitor Derek Perkins) was jailed over the boy’s death. Picture: Stewart McLean
Goodstart Early Learning Edmonton centre director Michael Glenn Lewis, 45, (pictured with his solicitor Derek Perkins) was jailed over the boy’s death. Picture: Stewart McLean

The Queensland Education Department confirmed in a statement on Tuesday it was pursuing "further legal action" against Goodstart, with the three charges mentioned in the Cairns Magistrates Court.

The case was adjourned until June 1.

Goodstart was charged with failing to adequately supervise children, protect child from harm and taking reasonable steps to ensure documents were accurate.

At the time of the incident, members of the public laid flowers and left teddies at the early learning centre in memory of Maliq.

His relatives said he was deeply connected to his close knit family.

"As you can imagine the sudden loss of our little boy has been distressing for the family," his uncle Nick told reporters last year.

"It's left many of us with the difficult task of trying to come to terms with his loss.

"For us as a family , it's an unprecedented incident and consequently it has affected the larger community and that's been demonstrated by the support our families have received."

Tributes were laid for the three-old-boy after his death. Picture: Brian Cassey/AAP
Tributes were laid for the three-old-boy after his death. Picture: Brian Cassey/AAP

During Lewis' bail hearing, the court heard he told authorities "my whole life is over" after he found the child in the back of the bus.

The comment was made during a triple-0 call made immediately after discovering the boy.

"Oh my God, this kid is dead. The child was left on the bus all day. So sorry, buddy," Lewis said, according to the court transcript.

"I'm going to jail. Oh my God, my whole life is over."

A Goodstart spokeswoman said the company would not comment as the matter was before the courts.

The daycare provider issued an apology to Maliq's family after his death.

"We express our deep sorrow and remorse for the death of Meeky," the statement read.

"Our organisation was created to better the lives of children, and we strive to do the very best we can for every Australian child."

Originally published as New charges over child's bus death

Goodstart Early Learning employee Dionne Batrice Grills, 34, was acquitted of her manslaughter charge. Picture: Stewart McLean
Goodstart Early Learning employee Dionne Batrice Grills, 34, was acquitted of her manslaughter charge. Picture: Stewart McLean

 

 

Maliq’s mother spoke of her “grief” over a Magistrate’s decision to acquit the woman previously charged with his manslaughter. Picture: Channel 7
Maliq’s mother spoke of her “grief” over a Magistrate’s decision to acquit the woman previously charged with his manslaughter. Picture: Channel 7