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Retail giants fined after safety breaches that led to boy's death


Topshop and its former owner Arcadia have been fined hundreds of thousands of pounds for health and safety failings after a schoolboy died in an accident at one of their stores.

Although Arcadia was fined just £650,000, the company could been fined more than £1.3m. The amount was reduced because the business was in liquidation and any fine would affect what it could pay creditors. The company was also ordered to pay £530,000 in costs.

Topshop would have been fined £650,000 but this was reduced to £350,000 for the same reason. The store was also ordered to pay £530,000 costs.

Shop fitting and refurbishment company, Stoneforce would have been fined £700,000 but this was reduced to a nominal sum of £1,000, due to liquidation. The firm was not ordered to pay any costs.

The schoolboy, Kaden Reddick, 10, died after a queue barrier at the former store in Reading's Oracle shopping centre fell on his head on February 13, 2017.

Following a two-month trial and four days of jury deliberations, Arcadia Group and Topshop/Topman were convicted of failing to discharge a health and safety duty.

Manufacturer of the display queue barrier, Realm Projects was acquitted of the same charge.

Speaking outside court, Kaden's mother Lisa Mallett said: "Kaden was killed in a place that should have been safe, in front of my mum, myself and my two-and-a-half –year-old daughter.

"Witnessing Kaden smashed into the floor by the barrier and the aftermath is something I will see until my dying days.

"Kaden was such a lovely, loving cheeky boy, his life was only just beginning and he had so many things to look forward to.

"All of that was taken away from him, from his family and his friends. It is clear to us Kaden's death should have been prevented. We should have just celebrated his 16th birthday on 8 March.”