Garden Centre Owners Have to Pay Pounds 150,000 after Three-Year-Old Is Crushed
The owners of a garden centre where a three-year-old girl was crushed to death by a falling car port were ordered to pay pounds 150,000 yesterday.
Esther Harvey was walking past the shelter with her aunt and grandfather when she was struck by a falling beam and pinned underneath it.
Two employees of the garden centre near Spalding, Lincolnshire, were also injured in the accident, which happened as they tried to remove the shelter from its display position.
Reinhard and Yvonne Biehler, who run Baytree Nursery in Weston, where the accident occurred, admitted failing to ensure the safety of their employees and visitors.
A judge at Lincoln Crown Court heard that staff failed to remove 13 bags of compost and two railway sleepers from the roof of the building before work started. Their manager left before the job was finished, and no steps were taken to cordon off the area or put up warning signs for the public. Three workers were trying to remove the last of the shelter's four bases with a forklift truck when it suddenly collapsed.
Julian Waters, prosecuting, said: 'At the time of the collapse, three visitors to the nursery, Esther Harvey, aged three, Sharon Wareham, her aunt, and Kenneth Wareham, her grandfather, were walking towards the main entrance. …