Kaden Reddick, a 10-year old boy from Reading was killed by a falling queue barrier at a Topshop store at the Oracle shopping centre on the 13th February 2017. He suffered a fatal head injury when the barrier fell on top of him, the inquest had previously heard that he had been swinging on the 110kg barrier moments before it fell. The jury at Reading Town Hall recorded a narrative conclusion, the court was told that Kaden and his family had just been to the cinema before going to the store during the half-term holiday.
A witness, Niamh Gillespie explained that she had seen Kaden swinging on top of the MDF barrier with his arms across the top of it. His swinging on the barrier caused it to tip and fall on to his head, wounding him fatally. He was confirmed dead at the Royal Berkshire Hospital a short time later. An inquest in March concluded that Kaden’s death was accidental but that there had been staff failings.
Reading Borough Council is now taking action against Topshop, its parent company Arcadia and also the contractor Stoneforce and manufacturers Realm after the tragic accident in February 2017. Kaden’s death was investigated by Thames Valley Police but the Crown Prosecution Service did not pursue corporate manslaughter charges. A spokeman for the council said –
“Following investigation on health and safety grounds, Reading Borough Council can confirm that charges have now been laid against Arcadia, Topshop, Stoneforce (the fitters) and Realm (the manufacturers) under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The laying of these charges follows the Coroner’s conclusion in March this year that the tragic death of Kaden Reddick in February 2017 was accidental, arising from an inadequately fixed barrier causing a traumatic head injury. The charges mean the council can make no further comment on the case at this time. Our thoughts remain with the family and we kindly ask that everyone continues to respect their privacy.”
A statement from Kaden’s family stated that-
“Kaden was kind, considerate and would always take care of those smaller than him, though had his own mind and knew what he wanted out of life. Since Kaden’s death the world feels empty, there is a huge hole in our hearts that can’t be filled and as a family all we can do is cherish the memories we have. We would like to thank everyone that has supported us over the last three years, the people that contributed to Kaden’s immediate care, Thames Valley Police and Co-op Legal Services.”