Vue admits health and safety charges over Star City cinema death

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image captionAteeq Rafiq died after becoming trapped under a Gold Class chair at Vue cinema, based at Star City in Birmingham

The Vue cinema chain has admitted two health and safety charges over the death of a man crushed under a motorised footrest.

Ateeq Rafiq, 24, died after he got his head stuck under a seat while searching for his keys at Birmingham's Star City cinema in March 2018.

Vue Entertainment Ltd pleaded guilty to failing to carry out an adequate risk assessment and failing to ensure the safety of visitors to the cinema.

Sentencing was adjourned until 20 July.

The Health and Safety Executive told an inquest in 2019 the force that came down on Mr Rafiq was the equivalent to three-quarters of a tonne.

The father-of-one, from Aston, suffered "catastrophic" brain injuries.

The inquest, which ended in a verdict of accidental death, was told the reclining chair had been missing a bar that would have allowed him to be released by hand.

Cinema staff spent 15 minutes trying to release Mr Rafiq and his wife, Ayesha Sardar, said she remembered him turning "blue".

Vue Cinemas admitted two charges at Birmingham Crown Court on Tuesday.

Both were under the Health and Safety at Work Act, and were for "failing to ensure that persons not in their employment are not exposed to risk to their health or safety" and for "failing to make a suitable and sufficient risk assessment".

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