5-Year-Old Girl Crushed To Death By Metal Gate While Playing In Her Garden 4 years ago 3

A five-year-old girl was crushed to death by an automatic gate as she played in the garden at her home, an inquest has heard.

Karolina Golabek died after she was trapped in the three-foot high sliding gate for 30 minutes.

The hearing was told that the girl would often be seen playing alone in the garden of the gated development in Bridgend, South Wales, where she lived with her parents.

On July 4, 2010, her father Jozef saw her playing there as normal at 4pm.

But half an hour later, a neighbour found Karolina trapped across her waist by the heavy metal gate.

The neighbour used his security key fob to open the gate and free Karolina but she had suffered massive internal injuries, the inquest in Aberdare, South Wales, was told.

The girl, who was described as ‘angelic’, died later in hospital with her parents at her bedside.

The inquest heard that construction company JB Leadbitter and Co Ltd had not included electric gates on its plans for the development.

But the gates were fitted to make the property ‘more marketable’ and provide secure parking for residents, the hearing was told.

Senior technical manager Geraint Sewell told the inquest: ‘In the first two years there were problems with the gate breaking down.

‘I heard talk in the office that the motor for the gate was breaking down and the gate wouldn’t open or work.

‘From the documents I’ve seen this happened on a number of occasions.

‘I don’t know what we did about it as a company. From the documents I believe our aftercare department was asked to identify and remedy the problem.

‘But this is something we would have delegated to a sub-contractor.’

The inquest heard the problems started in 2006 and the gates were still faulty three years later.

Karolina’s mother Barbara was present at the inquest on Monday, but Mr Golabek died nine months after his daughter.



Bridgend Coroner Louise Hunt said: ‘This is a tragic case concerning the death of a five-year old girl.

‘The cause of death was compression of the trunk but the full circumstances of her death will be explored during the hearing.’

The inquest, which is expected to last five days, continues.
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