Girl, 5, Crushed To Death By Gate

14/08/2014 16:57 | Updated 20 May 2015

Karolina Golabek who was trapped in an electric gate

Two companies have been accused of breaking safety laws after a young girl was crushed to death by an electric garden gate.

Five-year-old Karolina Golabek was playing alone in her garden when she became trapped in the three-foot high electric gate for 30 minutes.

She died later in a hospital, with her parents at her bedside.

The two companies who were appointed to service the gate by the housing association in 2009 have appeared in court accused of breaching section 33 of the Health and Safety at Work Act.

Tremorfa Ltd, of St Mellons, Cardiff, which was appointed to maintain the gate by the housing association in 2009, and John Glen Installations Services Ltd, of Gorseinon, Swansea, which was sub-contracted to carry out servicing on the gate, face the same charges.

Magistrates at Bridgend adjourned the case for both companies to appear at Cardiff Crown Court when they are expected to enter pleas.

Karolina had been playing with friends outside a three-storey block of flats in Bridgend just before she was trapped during the summer of 2010.

Her father, Jozef, saw her playing at 4pm, but half an hour later a neighbor found her trapped at the waist by the heavy metal gate.

The neighbour used his security key fob to open the gate and free Karolina, but not before she had already suffered massive internal injuries.

An inquest into Karolina's death recorded a verdict of accidental death.

In a further tragic development, five months after Karolina's death, her Polish-born father Jozef Golabek also died.

In a statement Karolina's family paid tribute to their 'little angel'.

They said: "She was a very happy, fun-loving, daughter. She loved animals, drawing pictures and enjoyed picking flowers for us; her loving parents and brother.

"Her parents and her brother would like to thank everyone for their kind words and support at this very difficult time. She will be deeply missed."

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