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Justice at last for school woodwork horror Nadine; Council admit safety breaches after pupil's ordeal.

Byline: ROBERT FAIRBURN reporters@dailyrecord.co.uk

A COUNCIL face a heavy fine after a schoolgirl was almost strangled when her scarf was sucked into a lathe in a technical class.

Nadine Craig was pulled into the powerful machine as fellow pupils looked on in horror.

She needed 40 stitches in an 11in wound in her neck and she is scarred for life.

At Selkirk Sheriff Court yesterday, Scottish Borders Council admitted failing to carry out risk assessments on machines in craft and design technology classes at Galashiels Academy over a period of almost three years.

The authority also failed to ensure that the Colchester Colt 600 lathe which injured Nadine was fitted with a proper guard.

The accident happened in November 2007, when Nadine was 14.

She spent five days in St John's Hospital, Livingston, and was off school for six months.

Nadine, now 20, was in court yesterday to see the council plead guilty to safety breaches.

Carrie Macfarlane, senior procurator fiscal depute, said a teacher had asked Nadine to remove her scarf the day before the accident.

But the next day, her regular teacher switched on the lathe for her while she was wearing the scarf shortly after incident and it got caught in the unguarded feed shaft.

There is a limitless fine for such safety breaches.

Miss Macfarlane highlighted how no risk assessments had been carried out on the machines from December 17, 2004, with the teacher telling the local authority he did not have the training or the time to do so.

Ranald Macpherson, for the council, said there had been "tensions" between the teacher and the authority over the issue of risk assessments.

He added: "He was removed from classroom duties after this incident and shortly afterwards took early retirement."

Mr Macpherson offered the council's apologies to Nadine for the "traumatic incident".

He pointed out that a civil claim for damages was settled in December 2011 with a five-figure payout.

The council will be sentenced next Monday.

The teacher involved took early retirement shortly after the incident LAWYER

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SCARRED FOR LIFE Nadine after the lathe accident in 2007
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Oct 1, 2013
Words:356
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