New Look hit by £20,000 fine after six-year-old boy hurt in Long Eaton shop window smash
A WOMEN'S fashion chain has been fined £20,000 after a six-year-old boy was injured when he ran into a shop window, having mistaken it for an open door.
The boy needed 12 stitches in a cut just above his eye and needs to wear a cap to protect the "fragile skin" from the sun, Southern Derbyshire Magistrates' Court was told.
Other parts of his face were also cut and his hands were grazed.
His mother said it was like a bomb going off when the window at the Long Eaton branch of New Look shattered on July 9, 2010. As the boy lay injured and bloodied, large shards of glass hung above him, the court in Derby was told.
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The firm pleaded guilty to exposing the public to risk, in a prosecution brought by Erewash Borough Council.
Magistrates imposed the maximum fine of £20,000 and ordered New Look to pay £16,087 costs to the council and a £15 Government surcharge.
The court was told that the boy had gone into the store to look for his sister while their mother waited outside on a sunny day.
Bernard Thorogood, for the council, said: "As he ran back out, he mistook the pane of glass for the immediately adjacent door and ran into it.
"The relatively fragile nature of the window and the six-year-old colliding caused it to shatter. There were razor-sharp shards of glass, the boy was badly cut and below them. That was a very distressing scene for his mother to observe.
"She said it was like a bomb when the window suddenly shattered, a great noise, and she saw it all."
Mr Thorogood said that there were no etchings on the glass to indicate it was a window and a store dummy had fallen and broken a pane earlier, an incident which should have been "a wake-up call".
The court was told that the boy suffered a panic attack recently when his mother wanted to go into the high street store.
Mr Thorogood said that, after the incident, the company's health and safety manager showed "exemplary conduct and was frank, helpful and open".
Lee Bennett, in mitigation, said: "Many clients can't say 'sorry' but this is not a company which is playing games. We have accepted it and we are standing up and saying that single word. There is no argument – we accept the failings up front and in full."
He said the store was one of several which had been left out of a risk assessment, adding: "It should have been better and it was not."
Magistrate Paul Harvey said the court had considered ordering the store to pay compensation to the mother and her son but added: "We believe it is more appropriate for the assessment and quantum of damages is dealt with in the civil court."