NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Meldrum House Hotel owners fined £10,000 over child fall

The owners of an Aberdeenshire hotel where a child fell from an unsecured window have been fined £10,000 for breaking health and safety laws.

The one-year-old girl fell from the first floor of converted stables at Oldmeldrum-based Meldrum House Hotel.

Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard the girl escaped serious injury.

Meldrum House Estates admitted being at fault over ensuring windows were either fixed in a closed position or fitted with an appropriate device.

The family involved had checked in during April 2012 to attend a wedding.

Mother screamed

The 15-month old had been changed into her outfit and was moving around the room while her parents got ready.

It appeared she somehow opened a window, leaned back and fell out.

The father saw the child disappear, and the mother screamed.

The pair ran downstairs and found the baby girl to be in shock and "floppy".

Her lips were turning blue but she was conscious. She was taken to hospital but the only visible injuries she had sustained in the drop were a bump on the back of the head and redness on her arm.

Company 'devastated'

Sheriff Annella Cowan said: "The risk of such an accident happening was low. This was an isolated incident."

The court heard that the hotel had a good health and safety record and had taken responsibility for the accident at an early stage.

Chief executive of Meldrum House Estates, Andy Burgess, said the company had been left "devastated" over the incident.

He said he thought the company had done everything possible during a £2.5m refurbishment to ensure safety.

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