Leeds parents’ grief as they speak of tragic Shamirah’s life INTERVIEW

Gary and Jennifer Grant at the scene.
Gary and Jennifer Grant at the scene.
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THE parents of tragic nine-year-old Shamirah Grant kneel by the flower-covered spot where their beautiful daughter died.

United in their grief, Gary and Jennifer Grant painted a picture of the joyfully noisy household which she helped create with her mum, dad, sisters and brothers.

Shamirah died after she was hit by a car as she played in the street.

Later inside their home in Leopold Street in Chapeltown in Leeds they talked joyfully of Shamirha’s life.

They said how difficult it was to tell Shamirah off because her natural humour would deflect them leaving them unable to control their giggles and laughter when they were trying to be stern.

The couple were in the house when the accident happened.

Shamirah was born in St James’s Hospital in Leeds and at the time the family lived in Reginald Street, not far away.

As well as mum and dad there were sisters Shaliyah, Taneesha and Sasha, brother Daniel, and three years later along came little brother Shaquille.

Mr Grant said: “My brother used to live next door and I remember him coming over and saying, ‘Wow! This one’s really going to test you!’ He proved to be right. She did test us, in every single way possible.

“She was here to push back all the barriers – sometimes good and sometimes seemingly bad, but with hindsight none were near as bad as we envisaged. But she was here to break frontiers.

“She would wake up every morning ready to take on the new challenges of the day. She would become very frustrated if she did not want what we were planning to do for the day.”


Jennifer: “She was organised about everything. She would get herself dressed, get her little brother ready.

“If we were going out for a picnic she would make sure everything was packed. She would say, ‘Shaquille isn’t getting ready,’ and would make sure he got ready.”

Gary said: “In her early years she was extremely confident Around the house, but her personal self-esteem outside wasn’t great. But in the last year and a half she’s really started to come out into her own character. You could see her becoming more confident.”

Jennifer said: “She was a dresser. She loved her clothes.”

Gary said: “Her sister Shaliyah was her role model. She adored her. Her little brother was an absolute treasure. She loved him.”

Jennifer said: “If Shaquille had done anything naughty and was getting told off she would come to his defence and walk off saying, ‘I can’t stand any more of this!’ Or she would stand in the way and say ‘Why are you talking to him like that? He’s only six!’”

Gary said: “She really was naturally funny. It could be really frustrating. You could be trying to tell her off and she would come out with something and you just couldn’t go on,” said Jennifer. “We spent so much time laughing in this house,” said Jennifer. “You could make a lot of noise having fun in this house - our neighbours will tell you.”

Beatrice Mwamba, 33, and Bruce Nyuetcucssi, also 33, were yesterday granted conditional bail to appear at Leeds Crown Court next week, in connection with the incident.

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