Justice plea after death of girl

Jade Norton
Jade Norton
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The father of a girl who was suffocated by a blanket after falling out of a faulty hospital bed has said his family is a step nearer justice – but said someone must be held to account for her death.

Ten-year-old Jade Norton, who was severely disabled, tumbled from her bed in June 2011 when a side rail gave way.

Her parents, Lee and Amanda, of Eaton Road, South Shore, had asked five times for a fault to be fixed or replaced, but nothing was done.

Three years on, health bosses apologised and paid undisclosed compensation as part of a civil case.

And on Friday at Blackpool magistrates court, the NHS Litigation Authority and the company hired to give care to Jade – Advantage Care, since bought out by Interserve – admitted two charges each brought by the Health and Safety Executive.

District Judge Jeff Brailsford ruled the case should be sent to crown court, where unlimited fines can be imposed.

Jade’s father Lee said: “The only disappointing thing about the whole ordeal is no individual is accountable. I want people to lose jobs over it. A big fine will send out a message.

“It was a failing in communication. No matter what happens, I knew the outcome would be like this anyway. It is not the answer I wanted.

“I would rather businesses did not get fined, but people were held to account.”

Speaking on Friday, Richard Seabrook, defending Interserve, said they had put many improvements in place since acquiring Advantage, and Advantage had only been involved with Jade for five months before she died.

David Lewis, for NHS Litigation, said the trust had publicly apologised.

But Jade’s mother, Amanda said: “I just hope this does not happen to any other child.”