Girl, 10, left disfigured by falling barrier at Topshop

A ten-year-old girl suffered a head injury at a Topshop store in Glasgow when a part of the furniture fell on her head, a court heard yesterday.

A schoolgirl was injured at Silverburn shopping centre in Pollok. Picture: John Devlin
A schoolgirl was injured at Silverburn shopping centre in Pollok. Picture: John Devlin

The schoolgirl, now 12, who cannot be named, was with her mother at Silverburn Shopping centre in Pollok in February 2017 when a queue barrier she swung on fell on her.

She was taken to the Royal Hospital for Children where she was found to be suffering a skull fracture as well as cuts and bruises. The child has been left with a scar on her right temple and was off of school for eight weeks. Yesterday at Glasgow Sheriff Court, Arcadia Group Ltd, which owns a number of brands including Topshop and Topman, pled guilty to flouting health and safety laws.

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They admitted to failing to make sure the queue barrier was fixed to the floor or properly secured, between January 2016 and February 2017, that lead to the girl being injured to her severe injury and permanent disfigurement.

The court heard the barriers were usually only used in “flagship stores” and Silverburn was not one of those.

They had been removed from the Argyle Street store and at some stage between January and March 2016 were moved to Silverburn, but not correctly installed.

Procurator fiscal depute Catriona Dow said the items were used in stores near the till area to guide customers and often displayed smaller items people could buy.

Mrs Dow said they “required to be fixed to the floor”.

She said: “On 7 February 2017, the ten-year-old accompanied her mother and her friend shopping at Silverburn.

“The entered Topshop around 8pm. The girl and her mother had been looking at hats and trying them on.”

Around 8:15pm the girl’s mother “heard a scream” and turned to see her daughter lying on the floor “with a queue barrier on top of her”.

Staff immediately removed 
it and an ambulance was called, with the girl taken to hospital.

Mrs Dow said she was treated for a skull fracture and cut, and she had bruises on her arms.

The court heard the shop was shut for investigations and CCTV was checked. Mrs Dow said: “It appears [the girl] has swung on the queue barrier at which time it fell on top of her.”

Enquiries revealed the barrier and a second that had been brought to the shop were both insecure and not attached to the floor properly.

Sheriff Paul Crozier deferred sentencing until a later date.