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Arcadia fined £450k after girl fractures skull in Topshop

Philip Green’s retail group Arcadia has been fined £450,000 after a 10-year-old girl was hit on the head by a queue barrier in Topshop, resulting in a fractured skull.

The incident happened at Glasgow’s Silverburn shopping centre in February 2017 when the girl, now aged 12, was shopping with her mother. The girl’s mother was returning a hat to the display when she heard a scream, and turned to find her daughter on the floor with the barrier on top of her.

The girl was taken to the Royal Hospital for Children to be treated for a skull fracture, laceration and haematoma. She had to take eight weeks off school and has been left with a scar.

CCTV showed that the girl had swung on the barrier which was not properly secured to the floor.

Arcadia Group admitted breaching health and safety laws at Glasgow Sheriff Court yesterday (Wednesday 30 January). Sheriff Paul Crozier said it was a “sad and serious incident” but acknowledged the company had admitted fault.

He said: “As a result of the company’s failings a 10-year-old suffered a severe injury and permanent disfigurement,” and added that the company had “taken steps to make sure there is no repeat of that breach”.

A spokesman for Arcadia said: “The Arcadia Group remains saddened by the injury suffered by the young girl as a result of this incident and our thoughts are with her and her family. The health and safety of our customers and employees is of the utmost importance to us. The Sheriff recognised that Arcadia has cooperated fully with Glasgow City Council and, at the first opportunity, pleaded guilty to a single charge brought under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 .

“Arcadia accepts that its system for the transfer of fittings between stores was not as robust as it should have been and this led to an unsecured fixture being present in the Silverburn store. We apologise unreservedly for this.”

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