London Defender

The Daily Mirror of the Great Britain

Topshop and Arcadia fined £1m over 10-year-old boy’s death

Topshop and its former owners Arcadia Group have been fined £1million for health and safety breaches after a 10-year-old boy was killed when a queue barrier fell on him. In 2017, during a family shopping trip, Kaden Reddick was tragically killed when a queue barrier fell on him in a store. 

The youngster sadly died at a store in Reading five years ago. 

In March, the two retail brands, which since the incident have gone into liquidation, were found guilty and ordered to pay the huge sum. 

Arcadia Group was fined £650,000 and Topshop/Topman £350,000. Each will pay £530,000 in costs.

But Kaden’s mother, Lisa Mallett, told the BBC no amount of money could bring her son back. 

During the court case, Reading Crown Court heard that it “should have been obvious” the barrier was a risk to customers.

The barrier, which was fitted in March 2014, weighed 17 stone and was secured by narrow screws into the concrete floor. 

Stoneforce helped revamp the store and fitted the barrier – the company was fined a nominal fee of £1,000.

Prosecutors told the court that the screws used were more suited to fixing a picture to a wall and were “always inadequate”. 

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Kaden was with his mum, grandmother and siblings during the trip to the store in February 2017, following a visit to the cinema. 

His mother Lisa Mallett said Topshop had been “more concerned that [the barriers] looked aesthetically pleasing, not whether they were safe for their customers”.

Just six days before the fatal accident, a similar incident happened where a girl was seriously injured at Topshop in Glasgow’s Silverburn shopping centre after a barrier toppled onto her. 

Emergency messages were sent to stores across the country following the incident but “no coherent strategy” was coordinated, the court heard.