Vue cinema chain fined £750,000 over seat crush death

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image captionAteeq Rafiq died aft becoming trapped nether a Gold Class seat astatine Vue cinema, based astatine StarCity successful Birmingham

The Vue cinema concatenation has been fined £750,000 for information breaches which led to the decease of a antheral who became trapped nether a chair.

It was besides ordered to wage £130,000 successful costs for what Judge Heidi Kubik QC said was "an mishap that ne'er should person happened".

Ateeq Rafiq died successful March 2018 aft helium was crushed by a motorised footrest astatine Birmingham's Star City cinema.

The justice said determination had been a "complete deficiency of a hazard assessment".

Mr Rafiq, 24, became trapped aft searching for his keys and the father-of-one, from Aston, suffered "catastrophic" encephalon injuries.

The Health and Safety Executive said the unit that came down connected him was the equivalent to a value of three-quarters of a tonne.

And an inquest, which ended successful a verdict of accidental death, was told the reclining seat had been missing a barroom that would person allowed him to beryllium released by hand.

The inquest assemblage foreman said determination had been "missed opportunities to undertake broad information checks of the chairs".

"If the spot had been fitted and maintained successful the close manner, Mr Rafiq would not person died," helium said.

Vue Entertainment Ltd pleaded blameworthy successful April 2021 to failing to transportation retired an capable hazard appraisal and failing to guarantee the information of visitors to the cinema.

Judge Kubik said: "Nothing I tin accidental tin ameliorate the nonaccomplishment suffered by his woman and family.

"It is conceded that intelligibly a fig of members of the nationalist were exposed to the aforesaid hazard of harm. The implicit deficiency of a hazard appraisal was a important origin of the existent harm that resulted."

But she besides accepted mitigation presented by the cinema concatenation and said: "It is evidently affirmative mitigation connected behalf of this institution that they person nary erstwhile convictions oregon matters coming earlier the court. They person a precise affirmative wellness and information record."

The prosecution was brought by Birmingham City Council, with the enactment of the Health and Safety Executive.

Speaking aft the sentence, councillor Philip Davis, the seat of the Licensing and Public Protection Committee, said: "As a effect of these failings by Vue, a young antheral who had gone to the cinema with his woman suffered fatal injuries.

"People spell to the cinema to bask films with friends and family, no-one should person to see whether their information is astatine hazard portion watching a film."

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