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Company fined £50,000 over death of girl trapped in electronic gates

“I pray that no other family will ever have to experience the same pain.”

A photograph  of Semelia Campbell amongst flowers where she was killed.
A photograph of Semelia Campbell amongst flowers where she was killed.
Image: PA WIRE

A COMPANY IN the United Kingdom has been fined £50,000 (€70,000) after a six-year-old girl became trapped in electronic gates and died.

Semelia Campbell died from her injuries after becoming caught in the gate in June 2010 on Maine Road, Manchester.

The company who installed the gates, Cheshire Gates and Automation Limited, pleaded guilty to corporate manslaughter for the girl’s death.

It has now been fined and made the subject of a publicity order. An investigation into the incident found that the gate’s built-in safety features had been overridden during the installation process.

ITV News reports that Judge David Stockdale said Kriston Kearns., the sole director of the company, had not sought technical advice he claimed to have.

The judge added that the man ‘knew little or nothing’ of the safety standards involved.

Semelia Campbell death Source: PA WIRE

The gate should have stopped when it detected an obstruction. However, it continued to move with the force of half a tonne.

A family from the Campbell family released through Greater Manchester Police read: “No mother should have to witness their child die the way I did.”

The pain my family and I have endured during this very long investigation is indescribable and I pray that no other family will ever have to experience the same pain.
“Whilst it is of some comfort that Cheshire gates have been held accountable for their actions, I will never forget the fear in my daughters eyes or the urine running down her feet when she was trapped in that gate.

“My memories of Semelia have forever been tainted by the events of 28 June 2010.

“I hope that other corporations and businesses will learn from this incident and take the necessary steps in order to prevent other such tragedies, because although today Cheshire gates have been brought to justice it is my family and I that have paid the ultimate price.”

Detective Superintendent Peter Marsh said there are “no winners in this sad case”.

He described Semelia’s death as totally avoidable, as it the company involved has “failed to comply with basic safety regulations”.

“The investigation and subsequent prosecution has been long and complex, however it has been thorough and showed where the responsibility truly lay,” he added.

Read: Girl (5) who cut leg to the bone on ‘knife-edged’ toilet roll holder awarded €40,000 >

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