Boy, 10, crushed to death by 240lb Topshop sign as family take company to court

The heartbroken mother of a 10-year-old boy who was killed by a fallen Topshop queue barrier is suing four companies.

Kaden Reddick died in February 2017 after a 240lb (110kg) queue barrier fell onto his head at a branch of the defunct clothes chain in Reading, Berkshire.

The youngster had just seen a film with his mum, sisters, and nan at the city's Oracle shopping centre before they walked to the store.

Kaden's mum Lisa Mallett faced representatives from Arcadia Group Ltd, Realm Projects Ltd, Stoneforce Ltd, and Topshop/Topman Ltd in court today after they were charged with health and safety violations by Reading Borough Council.

Judge Heather Norton pencilled in a 10-week trial to begin on January 22 next year.

The court was told Realm Projects built the barrier while Stoneforce fitted it.

Prosecuting lawyer James Ageros QC said the lethal collapse was entirely the fault of the parties being sued.

He said: "Kaden Reddick was killed when a barrier which he had been playing on fell on top of him causing fatal injuries."

Judge Norton said a further full-day hearing would be needed to decide whether Reading Council is able to prosecute the alleged parties responsible.

An inquest last year ruled Kaden's death was a tragic accident rather than the result of serious negligence, despite the barrier being "inadequately fastened".

Only a few days before Kaden's death a 10-year-old girl in Glasgow was seriously hurt by a wobbly barrier, prompting outrage that Kaden had been allowed to play on such equipment.

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