Saturday 25 May 2019

Hotel worker flees Maldives after Irish toddler death

Tara and Trevor Musgrave on their wedding day
Tara and Trevor Musgrave on their wedding day
Rachel Farrell

Rachel Farrell

A hotel worker accused in the Maldives of the manslaughter of an Irish child has spoken about fleeing the island.

Toddler Max Musgrave, son of Dubliners Tara and Trevor Musgrave, died on October 23, 2017 after drowning in a private pool in a luxury resort while on holiday.

Jeanne Manon Moutet (24), a French national who was working as a catering coordinator at the five-star Huvafen Fushi Resort, was charged by Maldivian authorities with the offence of causing "death by negligence" in January 2018.

However, the Frenchwoman fled home in November 2018, and has now spoken about the "shocking" ordeal. Manon said she was working in the restaurant when she was asked by management to babysit three Irish children before the accident occurred in October 2017.

According to French media, Manon was looking after the three children, an eight-year-old girl, a four-year-old and a 23-month-old boy, when the two eldest children became "agitated". The details of what happened next are unclear.

A short time later, the 23-month-old boy was found in a private pool just a few metres from his parents' room. According to the police report published by Le Parisien, the family said that their son's death was because of the management's negligence.

Speaking last week, Manon said: "After one week of investigation, I was made to sign papers in Maldivian that I do not understand.

"In reality, these are papers that say that I am accused of being responsible for the death of the boy but I was told that I was only suspected."

Now, Manon says she will continue to live her life with "this feeling of fault".

Police in the Maldives shared a public appeal for Manon's location in December 2018, but it is "unlikely" she will be extradited back there from France. Max's father Trevor Musgrave, originally from Castleknock, owns a luxury car dealership called Onyx, while his Malahide-born wife Tara previously worked in fashion.

Irish Independent

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