Leeds & West Yorkshire

Boy, two, killed by falling marble fireplace, inquest hears

Bradford Coroners' Court Image copyright Google
Image caption Bradford Coroner's Court heard Bram Radcliffe suffered severe head injuries

A two-year-old was killed when a marble fireplace surround "hanging by a thread" from a wall collapsed on him, an inquest has heard.

Bram Radcliffe was in his living room when the 60kg fixture, described as "an accident waiting to happen", fell.

Bradford Coroner's Court heard mum Amy Johnson heard a loud bang and rushed in to find the "lifeless" toddler.

Recording a narrative verdict, Martin Fleming described the installation as "sub-standard and dangerous".

The inquest heard Bram suffered severe head injuries at the family home on Banks Road, Golcar, West Yorkshire. on 8 November 2017.

'Cowboy' job

Witnesses said his mother was left "in a state of shock" as her son was rushed to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary, where he was pronounced dead the same day.

The inquest heard the coal fire was decorated with a marble surround, which was glued and screwed into plasterboard.

Coroner Mr Fleming said: "I can only suggest that it was installed either by a cowboy or a cowboy firm, or a DIY enthusiast."

In his conclusions, he said he would write to the relevant authorities in a bid to prevent similar tragedies happening again.

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Earlier, chairman of the Stone Federation of Great Britain's technical committee, David Richardson, told the inquest: "This would have been a very dangerous situation, and was probably an accident waiting to happen, unfortunately.

"If you could have a case study in how not to do it, this would have been the perfect example."

Mr Richardson said it was feasible the youngster touched the fire surround prior to it falling down.

"I would suggest that this level of fitting was so inadequate that the force... would have been enough to dislodge it," he added.

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