Minnie Rae Dunn fell 60ft after climbing on a sofa on a flat balcony. Her dad Daniel Kenney said he still has a lot of questions over his daughter’s death in Buckland, Portsmouth, Hampshire
The death of an eight-year-old girl who fell to her death while she was ‘messing about’ with another child on a balcony at a block of flats, was totally avoidable, according to her heartbroken dad.
Minnie Rae Dunn fell 60ft after climbing on a sofa which had been placed on the balcony, as she started to fall her young friend tried to reach her hand to stop her, but was unable to grab her. A 43-year-old woman was arrested after the primary school girl’s death on suspicion of child neglect, but the charges have now been dropped.
Minnie’s dad Daniel Kenney said he still has a lot of questions over his daughter’s death, which happened at Pickwick House tower block in Buckland, Portsmouth, Hampshire on August 24, last year. Describing the events, Mr Kenney said: “There was a sofa on the balcony which Minnie climbed up, and then she fell over the balcony. “[The girl] tried to grab Minnie’s hand to stop her falling but was unable to get it. I feel bad for her, she will be traumatised for life.”
Mr Kenney believed the tragic accident could have been avoided and spoke about what a ‘difficult job’ the police must have had when investigating the circumstances of his eight year old daughter’s death. “Minnie should not have been out on that balcony in the first place. We have a lot of questions. We think further action should have been taken and Minnie’s death was avoidable,” he added.
According to the father, Minnie lived with his parents in Southsea, Portsmouth, and was staying away the evening she died. Mr Kenney went on to describe the heartbreaking moment he was told the devastating news by police. He said: “Officers knocked at the door and said they had some bad news. I thought it was about my mum or dad, or maybe my brother. Then they said it was Minnie… and that she had fallen off a balcony after an accident and had not made it.
“It’s been difficult for me and my parents. We are suffering. Some of the toxic and misinformed things people say online has not helped either. I’d like to make it clear the council is not to blame in any way either. My parents did everything for Minnie and decided to take her on and bring her up. They deserve a lot of credit. They did so much for her. They even paid for her funeral.”
Speaking at her funeral, Mr Kenney said: “It was a beautiful service. We couldn’t have asked for anything better and are so grateful to everyone for their help. Minnie was obviously loved in the community but we didn’t realise how much until we saw the support. It was incredible. My brother gave an amazing speech at the service about her being unique and sassy which broke everyone.
“We had the Spinnaker Tower lit up in pink which they did at short notice, so we are very grateful to them. The community really came together for her – I have never seen anything like it.”
After her death, the schoolgirl’s mother Rebecca paid tribute in a statement, saying: “My angel, I am going to miss your sassiness and the way you spoke your mind. Your big bright smile that always melted my heart will be missed so much. I have a hole shape in my heart that will always be there. My little angel, fly high, I love you to the moon and back. Mummy.”
Minnie’s grandmother Ian and Dorothy Kenney, said: “Minnie had a big heart. Everybody loved her. She had lots of friends and had recently come back from a two week holiday which she loved and where she made lots of friends. Minnie liked singing and dancing and going on her trampoline and playing with her grandad who would run after her and make her laugh. Minnie was a savvy, sensible child. We are going to miss you so much. Fly high our beautiful princess”.
Hampshire Constabulary announced they are taking ‘no further action’ against a 43 year old woman who was arrested on suspicion of child neglect. A statement said: “At the current time we do not believe that there was third party involvement in Minnie’s death and a file will now be prepared for the coroner. Following our enquiries a 43-year-old woman, who was arrested on suspicion of neglect of a child, has been released without charge and will face no further action.”