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'Accident waiting to happen' says coroner after four-year-old dies in designer shop

Austen Harrison died after a huge mirror fell on him Credit: ITV Meridian

A four-year-old boy who was crushed to death after a 19-stone mirror fell on him in a designer shop died in "an accident that was waiting to happen," a coroner has stated.

Senior Oxfordshire Coroner Darren Salter's comments came after an inquest jury returned a narrative verdict in to the death of Austen Harrison.

The youngster had been playing with a heavy steel-framed fitting-room mirror while his father tried on a suit at a Hugo Boss shop when it toppled on to him, causing "devastating" head injuries, Oxford Coroner's Court heard.

The jury found: "The mirror came to fall on Austen after he moved the wings, causing the unfixed mirror to become unstable.

"The jury believes that the mirror should have been fixed to the wall and that the wall should have been reinforced. We do not believe the mirror was fixed to the wall."

Austen of Crawley, West Sussex, was with his parents Simon and Irina Harrison when he was injured at the Bicester outlet village in Oxfordshire on June 4 2013 at around 8.30pm.

He underwent an emergency operation to relieve pressure on his brain but died four days later in hospital after life-support was switched off.


Inquest hears how boy was crushed by mirror

A shop manager has relived the horrifying moment he received a phone call telling him a large mirror had fallen - and crushed - a four year old boy at his store.

Austen Harrison was with his parents, shopping at the Bicester Village Outlet in Oxfordshire when the mirror fell on him in June 2013.

An inquest has been hearing how the mirror should have been tethered to the wall, but was freestanding.

Kate Bunkall reports from Oxford Coroner's Court.

Four-year-old boy 'killed by falling shop mirror'

A four-year-old boy died after suffering "devastating" head injuries when a 7ft tall mirror fell on him, an inquest heard.

Austen Harrison died in hospital after a mirror fell on him in a shop.

Austen Harrison was with his parents shopping at the Hugo Boss outlet store in Bicester Village, Oxon, when the large, heavy mirror fell from the wall onto his head in a fitting room.

Austen was rushed to John Radcliffe Hospital for emergency surgery after the incident on June 8, 2013, but died four days later when his life support machine was switched off.

An inquest into his death at Oxford Coroner's Court heard that the mirror was not fixed to the wall and that its free-standing position meant it could could easily overbalance.

His father, who was trying on a suit at the time, said he heard an extremely loud bang "as if something had fallen over", and someone gasp before realising it was his son lying motionless underneath.

The inquest is due to last two days.

Developer responds to residents' broadband complaints

In response to complaints from residents at the Kingsmere Estate in Bicester in Oxfordshire, about the lack of superfast broadband at their homes, a spokesperson for the developer Countryside Properties (Bicester) Ltd. issued a statement:

“We have completed the installation of all of the BT/Openreach ducting through the Kingsmere site based on a design agreed with them in 2010. It is then BT/Openreach’s decision as to whether they would run copper or fibre through the ducting.

We are aware that the Kingsmere Residents’ Association has been in direct discussion with BT/Openreach about how the provision of superfast broadband can be achieved at Kingsmere.

Unfortunately unlike with other utility suppliers we are only able to provide the ducting for BT/Openreach. It is then up to them what service they provide. We are however working with BT/Openreach and the developers and residents of Kingsmere to ensure that the situation is resolved as soon as possible to all parties satisfaction.”

– Countryside Properties (Bicester) Ltd.


Residents angry over unreliable broadband

Residents campaign for faster broadband at the Kingsmere Estate in Bicester

A group of people living on a new housing estate in Bicester in Oxfordshire say it is unacceptable that they do not have access to reliable broadband.

The campaigners say faster internet speeds were promised to them two years ago - but they are still waiting for improvements. The Kingsmere Residents' Association said members have made it clear they are very disappointed that Superfast Broadband is not available for most residents, through their representation at public forums.

The developers, meanwhile, say they area working with BT and the residents to ensure the situation is resolved as soon as possible. However, the homeowners are still unhappy, as resident Marcus Gilbert explains.

Emergency supplies leave Oxfordshire to help the victims of Ebola

Oxfam's emergency warehouse Credit: ITV news

Forty tonnes of emergency supplies have been loaded onto vans at Oxfam's emergency warehouse in Bicester, ready to be flown to Liberia to help stop the spread of Ebola. 230 thousand pounds worth of water and sanitation equipment - along with generators - will be delivered to the country. Tomorrow, a similar operation will see supplies sent to Sierra Leone. The death toll in West Africa has reached five thousand. Ian Bray from Oxfam spoke to ITV Meridian

Oxfam sends emergency equipment to tackle Ebola crisis

The loading of 40 tonnes of emergency equipment to help stop the spread of Ebola in Liberia has taken place this morning at the Oxfam emergency warehouse in Bicester, Oxfordshire.

Some £227,000 worth of water and sanitation equipment, including a drilling rig, generator, water tanks, pipes, taps and buckets, will be sent over to the country.

The aid will be vital in providing clean water and sanitation for people in Liberia and tomorrow will be sending a similar amount of aid to Sierra Leone where the crisis is getting worse.

People desperately need clean water. Clean water keeps people alive and it will help stop the spread of this horrendous disease. We're winning the battle against Ebola in Liberia but we are far from winning the war.

– Oxfam spokesman

Appeal for workers to help build UK's first eco town

Artist's impression of new eco town Credit: ITV news

Developers in Oxfordshire are holding a drop in event to showcase the jobs and training opportunities available to construct the UK's first eco town. A variety of skilled workers are needed to build 93 homes in Bicester as part of the scheme.

The drop-in event is being held in the town centre at Unit 3 Crown Walk Emporium, Pioneer Square, on Friday 26th September from 10.00am to 4.00pm. The event is open to anyone looking for job or training opportunities in construction locally. A variety of work is available from ground clearance to bricklaying, carpentry, plumbing and electrical, landscaping or painting to roofers and administrative support. The developers says they are committed to creating a minimum of 20% local labour on site during construction

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