The boss of an indoor play centre has admitted charges of neglect after a young girl sliced her fingers open in an unsafe fan.
Martin Fossey, the managing director of the Hippodrome in Kings Road, Herne Bay, appeared before Canterbury magistrates and admitted failing to protect non-employees against health and safety risks.
The court heard that on January 12 this year a six-year-old girl crawled into the inflatable castle maze and caught her fingers in a fan used to blow it up.
The victim's injuries were bandaged after the incident
Her fingers were slashed open and she needed surgery to repair damaged tendons after trapping her hand in the machine.
Witnesses described seeing a trail of blood across the floor as the girl – who cannot be named for legal reasons – ran through the centre screaming.
Prosecuting for Canterbury City Council, Nick Mayne told the court: “She put her hand into the area. This was a break grille, with a heavy plastic fan behind it.
“She put part of three fingers into it, cutting her fingers. Exposed bone could be seen.
Martin Fossey at the Hippodrome in King's Road, Herne Bay
“The child came out of the play area in distress and had started bleeding profusely.
“At 4.30pm another group of children were due to come in and were allowed to enter the play area after somebody from the Hippodrome staff had gone in with some paper towels to clean up the blood.
“This was a shocking case because of the injuries to a child.
“The fact is, he [Fossey] allowed children to go in after the accident in the same place where the accident happened.
The girl needed surgery to repair tendons
“It’s clear he showed a high degree of culpability.”
The girl’s godmother said: “The party was going well and everyone was enjoying themselves, until just before the end of the party when my goddaughter ran up screaming with her hand covered in blood.
“Her mum picked her up, ran to the kitchen area and started to apply tissue in an attempt to stop the bleeding.
“A member of staff was asked to call an ambulance.
"She put part of three fingers into it, cutting her fingers. Exposed bone could be seen" - prosecutor Nick Mayne
“One of the parents went into the area where the child came out of and followed a trail of blood to a fan which had no cover on and no cover nearby to keep children’s hands safe.”
The girl’s father earlier said: “There was tendon and nerve damage.
“Her fingers were lacerated. My wife called three times for them to get an ambulance until finally another member of the party took them to Margate A&E.
“The Hippodrome just carried on till the next party!”
Mr Fossey and his company Rec-Tech Leisure will be sentenced at Canterbury Crown Court.