THREE companies charged with health and safety breaches in relation to the death of a ten-year-old boy in Reading have appeared in court for the start of a trial. 

Kaden Reddick died after a display queue barrier fell on top of him in Topshop in February 2017.

On Wednesday, January 12, barristers representing Arcadia Group Ltd, Topshop/ Top Man Ltd and Realm Projects Ltd met in court as they prepared for a trial in relation to Kaden’s death to get underway.

READ MORE: Companies in court over Kaden Reddick Topshop death

The prosecution’s opening statement is set to be heard today (Thursday, January 13) after jurors were sworn in on the first day of the trial.

Topshop and Topman were part of the Arcadia group of retailers (owned by business tycoon Sir Philip Green) that fell into administration in November 2020. 

Administrators representing Topshop/Topman Ltd and Arcadia Group Ltd pleaded not guilty to separate counts of failing to maintain queue barriers in order ensure that persons not in their employment were not thereby exposed to risks to their health or safety.

A legal representative for Realm Projects Ltd also pleaded not guilty to the same charge on another count.

An inquest held in March 2020 heard how Kaden, from Burghfield, had been in the store with his mother, grandmother and two siblings after a family trip to the cinema, when the incident occurred.

READ MORE: Mother's tribute following inquest into death of boy who died at Topshop

He had reportedly been spotted swinging on the store’s queue barrier just minutes before it toppled on top of him, hitting him on the head.

The inquest jury decided that although the 180 kg queue barrier was “inadequately fastened,” the considered conclusion was accidental death.
Kaden’s mother Lisa Mallett said during the inquest that her son was a “loving, cheeky and energetic child.”

She added: “Kaden was a very special little boy, he was a loving, cheeky, energetic child. A wonderful son, brother and friend to many and is greatly missed by all who knew him.”

The trial, presided over by Her Honour Judge Heather Norton, said the trial could last more than eight weeks.