Top hotel firm fined 10,000 after toddler falls out window

A NORTH-EAST hotel company has today been fined 10,000 after admitting to a safety breach after a child fell through a window.

The 15-month-old girl fell three metres through an upstairs window of a converted stable block at Meldrum House Country Hotel.The youngster was with her parents at the hotel and was sitting on a window ledge which was 10cm from the floor.She managed to open the window, and when she leant against it, it opened, causing her to fall onto paving below.The child had to be taken to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary by ambulance following the incident, which happened on April 27, 2012, but was not seriously injured.Meldrum House Estates, which own the hotel at Oldmeldrum, admitted a health and safety breach at Aberdeen Sheriff Court last month – and was sentenced yesterday.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.Andy Burgess, chief executive of Meldrum House Estates said after the previous calling of the case that there had been a “full investigation” after the incident, and that the child was taken to hospital afterwards to be checked.He also said that “immediate action” was taken after the incident to prevent it from happening again.Mr Burgess said: “It was a very unfortunate incident, that thankfully resulted in no serious injury.”In court Sheriff Annella Cowan said it was an “isolated incident”.She said on handing the hotel a fine, that in her view the risk of a 15-month old child being in a position to open the closure fittings of the window was “a very remote risk”.Gary Aitken, head of the health and safety division at the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, said: “This was an accident that could have resulted in the severe injury or death of a little girl.“Thankfully she only sustained minor injuries which have had no lasting effect.”