UK hotel fined £10k after baby falls out of window

Ruth Doherty

Hotel fined £10,000 after baby falls out of window
Hotel fined £10,000 after baby falls out of window

A hotel company has been fined £10,000 after admitting to a safety breach after a toddler fell through a window.

The 15-month-old girl fell three metres through a window in the converted stable block at Meldrum House Hotel in Oldmeldrum, Aberdeenshire.

The child, who was with her parents at the hotel, was sitting on a window ledge in the room when she accidentally opened the window as she leaned against it.

Meldrum House Estates, which own the hotel, admitted a health and safety breach at Aberdeen Sheriff Court last month, and was sentenced on Tuesday.

According to the Aberdeen Evening Express, "Meldrum House Estates Limited pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that windows of upstairs rooms in a converted stable block were either fixed in a closed position or fitted with a device to prevent them being opened, closed or adjusted in a way that would expose people to a safety risk".

Meldrum House Estates chief executive Andy Burgess said the company had been "devastated" by the incident.

According to the Aberdeen Press and Journal, he said: "We felt that we had taken all the professional advice that we could to prevent any sort of incident happening.

"It was an unfortunate accident and we are just thankful that the little girl in question was not seriously hurt."

Sheriff Annella Cowan agreed and said the owners of the hotel had not shown signs of "penny pinching" and that they had evidently taken steps to ensure such an accident was unlikely.

She said: "The risk of a 15 month old child being in the position to open two closure fittings while with her parents was, in my view, a very remote risk."

In light of that, she imposed half of the maximum penalty fine of £20,000, considering the child was not seriously harmed, and that the company had accepted guilt early on.

The Meldrum House Hotel underwent a £2.5 million refurbishment back in 2009 to turn it into a top four-star resort, including a golf course and a marquee for weddings.

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