Thorpe St Andrew: Nursery Company Fined

A nursery company has been fined £40,000 after a 14-month-old boy had the end of his little finger cut off in a door at its branch in Thorpe St Andrew, near Norwich.

Just Learning Ltd was also ordered to pay £35,000 in costs after pleading guilty to failing to ensure, so far as reasonably practicable, that babies and young children in its care were not exposed to risks to their safety.

Norwich Crown Court was told the company had failed to fit finger guards to all internal doors at the nursery, which resulted in the child being injured in October 2009.

The prosecution was brought by Broadland District Council under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Passing sentence, Judge Peter Jacobs, the Recorder of Norwich, said the offence was a 'grave breach' and that the 'obvious risk' had been going on for almost a decade.

After the hearing, council environmental health officer James Windsor said: "This prosecution illustrates the council’s determination to do all it can to safeguard the welfare of members of the community, particularly those who are most vulnerable.

It sends out a clear and unequivocal message that we will investigate fully and bring the full weight of the law to bear on companies that fall below legal requirements.

It is also a timely reminder to other nurseries that they should look regularly at their safety procedures and regimes to make sure they are up to standard.”

Just Learning Ltd, which has its registered office in West Mailing, Kent, operates 44 'Just Learning' nurseries across England and Wales, and others in Scotland under the 'Careshare' brand.

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