£110k Fines After Bridgend Gate Death
12 June 2014, 18:17
Two south Wales companies have been ordered to pay almost two hundred thousand pounds after a 5 year old girl was crushed by an electric gate.
Cardiff Crown Court heard the gate was a "lethal piece of machinery" - trapping and killing Karolina Golabek in 2010.
Eyewitnesses said they saw the schoolgirl - who was just five days away from her sixth birthday - lifelessly drop to the floor as she was freed.
She had been playing with kittens near to the gate which was around the corner from where she lived.
John Glen Installation Services (Swansea) carried out work on the gate while Tremorfa Ltd - based in Cardiff - had a contract to maintain it.
Both previously admitted health and safety breaches.
Cardiff Crown Court court heard the default safety settings for the gate had been turned off.
It meant it wasn't able to slow down or move back if something was in the way.
The force behind the gate was also 5 times the level recommended by the British Standard - anyone who was trapped would have been subjected around 2000 newtons or 200 kilogrammes.
The court heard that both companies were "careless but not reckless".
Judge Tom Crowther said that Karolina's death could have been avoided at modest expense - by both having proper equipment to measure the force of the gate.
John Glen Installations Services was fined £60,000 plus £40,000 costs while Tremorfa Limited has been told to pay £50,000 and £40,000 costs.