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Gillingham mum Stephanie Barratt panicked when tree branch toppled onto baby Amelia at The Strand


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A young mum panicked when a tall tree branch toppled onto her baby and trapped her in a pushchair.

Stephanie Barratt was stunned when she saw part of the felled tree crash down on 10-month-old daughter Amelia Hadris as the pair enjoyed a stroll at the Strand Leisure Park in Gillingham.

Amelia was screaming and crying as her mum tried to move the tree.

Stephanie and Amelia Barratt by the tree. Picture: Steve Crispe
Stephanie and Amelia Barratt by the tree. Picture: Steve Crispe

Miss Barratt, 27, said: “I didn’t know if she was badly hurt, I didn’t know what to do.

“I tried to move the tree off her but it was too heavy for me. I just had this blind panic.

“I think I must have been screaming but I can’t really remember. The man who hacked the tree down ran straight over and lifted it off Amelia” - Stephanie Barratt

“I think I must have been screaming but I can’t really remember. The man who hacked the tree down ran straight over and lifted it off Amelia.”

Fortunately the baby escaped with a few small cuts and Miss Barratt a bruised hand.

The pair live in Waterside Lane, Gillingham, with Amelia’s father David Hadris, a construction project manager.

They got to the park on Tuesday and noticed the Medway Norse worker, but paid little attention as there were no warning signs or barriers. They were around 20ft away from the tree when the branch fell.

Miss Barratt, a beauty therapist, added: “Thankfully the pram took most of the hit.

Amelia escaped with just a few scratches to her face when the tree branch crashed down onto the pushchair
Amelia escaped with just a few scratches to her face when the tree branch crashed down onto the pushchair

“Amelia was really upset but we went straight back home and I cleaned up her cuts and she bounced back really quickly.

“I know the worker was upset by it, it’s traumatic whatever side you’re on.

“I don’t know if he had been trained but there was absolutely no safety measures in place such as barriers, signs around the area he was working and I was totally unaware the tree was being cut down.

“It makes me sick with worry because if it had been that slightly older child I’d seen running ahead they could have been seriously injured.

Amelia was trapped in her pram by the branch. Picture: Steve Crispe
Amelia was trapped in her pram by the branch. Picture: Steve Crispe

“I want to see better precautions in the future.”

Miss Barrett said the worker apologised to her and an accident report was filed at The Strand, along with witness accounts.

A spokesman for Medway Norse said: “We have not received a formal complaint about this matter. All Medway Norse staff are required to adhere to a strict health and safety policy and compliance with this is very important.”


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