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College fined over girl’s death

Posted in: Public Liability 

York College has been fined £175,000 after a 3-year-old girl died on her first full day at the college’s nursery. The college has been fined for health and safety breaches after Lydia Bishop got her neck caught in a rope on an outdoor slide at York College’s nursery in 2012. The college denied charges, but was finally convicted last week for failing to ensure child safety between August and September of 2012.

Lydia died at her first full day of nursery when she became caught in a rope that was intended for the children to pull themselves up to the top of the slide.  She lay for around 20 minutes before the nursery’s staff discovered her.  A wooden bench and a plastic trolley had blocked access to the slide, but Lydia bypassed these unnoticed.  It was intended for the rope to be removed at the end of that play session by nursery staff.

“Nothing can reduce the pain”

The nursery was operated on behalf of the college to supervise the children of staff, students and members of the public. One of the nursery’s workers, Sophee Redhead (25), from York, was cleared of manslaughter by gross negligence charges.  The nursery has closed since the accident.

Alison Birkinshaw, principal and chief executive of York College, said in a statement: “Nothing can reduce the pain felt by Lydia’s family and we are truly sorry for what has happened. Lydia and her family will be forever in our thoughts.

The college was also ordered to pay £45,000 in costs.

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