Jury rules Halfords in-store cycling death an accident

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An inquest has heard this week that a Halfords customer sustained a traumatic brain injury sustained during a fall from a bike he was looking to return to Halfords.

The incident occured when 79-year-old St Austell local Peter Norton cycled the bike, which he believed to have a gearing fault, down the aisle of the local branch.

With CCTV in the store faulty, it is unclear what exactly caused Mr. Norton’s unfortunate crash, but Cornwall Council Health and Safety officer Darren Hambly described areas of the store as particularly tight. It has been concluded that no breach of health and safety regulations was evident, despite staff having reportedly failed to provide first aid care, nor ask Mr. Norton to wear a helmet while re-testing the bike.

Local press Cornwall Live reports that Matthew Noy, who assisted Mr. Norton on the day of the incident, made adjustments to the gears and invited Mr. Norton to take a trial run in store. Upon hearing a screech, Noy told the inquest he assumed the brakes had been applied. Upon discovering the crash, staff went to the assistance of Mr. Norton, but claim that assistance was refused and that there were no noticeable signs of injury. Staff further added that the bike was further ridden in the car park once the customer had left the store.

The Coroner identified some inconsistency in the stories of staff and Mr. Norton’s wife, who claims that her husband returned to their camper van with a swollen cut on his forehead. At this point Mr. Norton is said to have instructed his wife to return home, where he was eventually discovered flopped down and unresponsive.

The cause of death was later identified as a brain hemorrhage.

The jury has now concluded that the death was an accident.

Read more here.

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