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Apology after girl hurt

PUBLISHED: 13:00 30 July 2010 | UPDATED: 22:00 01 August 2010

A LOWESTOFT couple have received an apology from council officials after a rotten wooden bench at a popular beauty spot gave way - leaving their their baby daughter injured.

A LOWESTOFT couple have received an apology from council officials after a rotten wooden bench at a popular beauty spot gave way - leaving their their baby daughter injured.

Camilla Huke-Jenner took her three children to Pakefield Cliffs recreation area near Saxon Road on Monday afternoon. While her sons, six-year-old Gabriel and Elijah, two, played nearby Mrs Huke-Jenner sat on a bench so she could feed seven-month-old Beatrix.

But when she leaned back, the back-support gave way. Both Mrs Huke-Jenner and baby Beatrix, who she was holding, fell backwards to the ground and crashed into a fence.

Mrs Huke-Jenner was badly shaken but baby Beatrix hit her head on a metal support attached to the fence.

An ambulance was called to take Beatrix to the James Paget University Hospital at Gorleston and she was diagnosed with severe bruising to her face.

The family of Yarmouth Road, Lowestoft, are recovering from their ordeal this week and urged other people to take care using wooden benches on recreational and play areas in the district.

Matthew Huke-Jenner said: “Beatrix suffered severe bruising to her face but when we look back it could so easily have been much more serious.”

Mr Huke-Jenner contacted Waveney District Council to tell them what happened and received an apology but he was concerned that other benches in the area could also be in a poor condition.

“The back support was completely rotten and gave way as soon as my wife and daughter sat down.

“However, a council worker who contacted me about the incident said that the bench had been inspected only a week earlier.

“The back support must have been rotten then so it makes you wonder how many other benches are also in a poor condition,” he said.

Mrs Huke-Jenner and baby Beatrix were allowed home after treatment at the hospital.

“It was a frightening ordeal and the two boys were very upset to see their mother and baby sister needing to be taken to hospital in an ambulance,” said Mr Huke-Jenner. “We are getting over the incident but the next person who this happens to might not be so fortunate.”.

A spokesman for Waveney District Council said: “Waveney Norse manages no fewer than 82 play areas in the Waveney area and all are inspected regularly.

“Given how much these play areas are used and enjoyed by so many, any accident, however rare, is regrettable and we have already spoken to the family to wish Beatrix a speedy recovery.”

The damaged bench has now been removed.

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