Thu, 23 Feb 2017
AN inquest into the death of Burghfield Schoolboy Kaden Reddick has been opened today (Thursday).
The 10-year-old was killed when a queue barrier fell on top of him while on a half-term shopping trip with his mother and grandmother at The Oracle shopping centre in Reading.
The investigation into his death will be led by Thames Valley Police working with The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Reading Borough Council's environmental health team.
Speaking at the inquest opening today at Reading Town Hall, Detective Inspector Dave Turton, of Thames Valley Police, said Kaden had been struck on the head by the barrier at the Topshop store, resulting in fatal injuries.
The inquest heard how, following the incident, the fashion chain closed 400 of its stores worldwide to remove the barriers which run parallel to the till points.
DI Turton confirmed an initial post mortem examination has been carried out, however no exact cause of death has yet been given.
Senior coroner for Berkshire Peter Bedford said the initial investigation into the death would take around three months.
No formal date was set to resume the inquest.
Speaking last week, Kaden's family said: "Kaden was a loving, cheeky, energetic boy whose death will leave a huge empty hole in the lives of everybody that knew him. Our house feels empty without him.
"For us the saddest part of Kaden's death is that he will never be able to fulfil his potential. He was looking forward to driving his older brothers moped, driving a car, becoming a teacher, or visiting impossibly distant countries to him such as China. It is so hard to comprehend he will never do these things.
"Kaden will be forever remembered by us; with him looking down from the stars, and us looking up and smiling at all of our loving memories of him. He was much loved by all of his family and friends, and will be hugely missed by his siblings, and everyone else who was touched by his warmth and love."
Kaden's school, Garland Junior in Burghfield Common, paid tribute saying he was an "energetic young man who enjoyed helping others".
It continued: “Kaden’s death has come as a shock to the school community and his loss will be felt by all our pupils, teaching staff and governors."