Firms prosecuted over gate death

Boy Crushed By Gate

03.10.2008

Three companies are being prosecuted over the death of a nine-year-old boy who was crushed by an electric gate in Poole, Dorset.

Jason Keet was trapped between the gate and a pillar at the Balcombe Road flats where his mother Samantha Whittle had taken him to visit his grandparents.

He had reached through a gap to press a button to open the gate, but became trapped and suffered massive head injuries.

Now the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Poole council are prosecuting three companies: the developer of the flats, the manufacturer of the gate and the company responsible for its electrical installation.

The HSE, which launched an investigation at the time, is prosecuting developer Pearlview Estates and Faulkner Gates over alleged failures to make sure the gates were safe.

Poole Council is bringing a prosecution against Electric Gate Services over the alleged supply of machinery that failed to satisfy essential health and safety requirements.

The first hearing is on November 17 at Wimborne Magistrates' Court.

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David Urpeth from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: "This was a horrific fatal accident.

"Members of the public need to be safe when visiting premises.

"I regularly pursue claims for compensation when people are injured or killed in public places. Such claims can be against a council, a company or even private individuals."