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Father’s poor DIY causes child death

Posted in: Personal Injury Wrongful & Accidental Death 

A toddler was killed earlier this year after her father failed to safely install a fire surround in their house, which fell and crushed her to death. 2-year-old Trinity Coward had been swinging on the fire surround when it fell on top of her on the 6th of July. The surround had been attached to the wall with glue, an adhesive not strong enough to secure the heavy stone surround.

At the Norwich-based hearing, Coroner Jacqueline Lake said that the young girl’s death had highlighted “the dangers of carrying out do-it-yourself work in the home”. It was stated in a pathologist’s report that Trinity had died of a “complex head injury” caused by force trauma. Mrs Lake recorded a verdict of accidental death.

“Lack of regulation”

A trading standards officer from Norfolk County Council, Dean King, said that around one child every year is killed in the UK from similar accidents. He said that heavy-duty jobs, such as fixing a fire surround to the wall, require a degree of expertise in order to ensure that they are carried out properly and safely.

It was heard at the inquest that Mr Coward had purchased “industrial strength” glue from a DIY store and had used more than the recommended amount to be certain that it was secure.

Mrs Lake said: “This does highlight a lack of regulation in respect of the sale of second-hand fireplaces on a private basis and where they are fitted by an individual.

Trinity was described as “a beautiful, smiley little girl”.

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