Father of Keane Wallis-Bennett: ‘I’m still seeking closure’

Keane Wallis-Bennett. 
Picture: Universal News and Sport (Scotland)
Keane Wallis-Bennett. Picture: Universal News and Sport (Scotland)
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THE father of Keane Wallis-Bennett has said he still seeks closure after a judge returned her findings from an inquiry into his daughter’s tragic death.

Clark Bennett spoke to the News following the conclusion of a Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI) examining the circumstances of his daughter’s death in April 2014.

Keane passed away aged 12 when a freestanding “modesty” wall in the old PE block at Liberton High School collapsed on her as she was getting ready for a lesson with her friends.

Mr Bennett, who now lives in Forres, said the two-week inquiry had been “difficult” but that he was grateful it had taken place.

Read more: Wall which killed Keane Wallis-Bennett ‘inherently unstable’, inquiry rules

However, the 51-year-old added that he had yet to achieve closure following the devastating loss of his daughter.

He said: “I don’t have any sense of closure yet, none whatsoever. I need it, certainly, so does the rest of the family.

“I am trying to rebuild my life as much as possible, that’s why I want some closure.”

Mr Bennett praised Sheriff Principal Mhairi Stephen’s handling of the inquiry, saying he had no complaints about the manner in which it had been conducted.

“I thought she was very good,” he said. “A couple of times I was in the Chambers and she was speaking to me. I have no qualms or complaints, none at all.”

However, Mr Bennett added that he would continue to fight for the truth, saying the determination was a “small step forward” but that he felt there was more which could be done.

He said: “I think Edinburgh council did the right thing by doing the FAI. It is open-ended without a doubt.

“It was never there to point a finger [but] personally I think we could have pushed people further. The Sheriff couldn’t do that, that’s not what it was.

“I’m thankful that Police Scotland and Edinburgh City Council did the FAI but I still feel like the door is wide open, it’s not shut yet. There’s more to be done.”

Last year it emerged that no-one would be charged over the schoolgirl’s death following an investigation by the Crown Office.

Mr Bennett previously spoke of his relief at the decision, saying he hadn’t wanted to endure a criminal trial.

He said at the time: “I have been dealing with the police and my lawyer every second day, how can I move on with that going on?”

Keane’s death was followed by an outpouring of grief from the school and local community.

Dozens of floral tributes were laid outside the school, while a song recorded by friends in her memory made it into the top 100 on the download chart in December 2014.