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Parents demand Persimmon Homes acts after toddler is badly burned

Robin Bowman

Robin Bowman
May 13, 2016


The parents of an 18-month-old boy whose hand was severely burned have demanded Persimmon Homes improve safety standards.

Little Henry Jones was playing happily in the Persimmon office in Coity, Bridgend, South Wales, while his parents Andrew and Juliette discussed a home purchase.

Suddenly Henry reached out and placed his hand briefly on one of the heaters in the room and screamed.

The vent at the top of the panel was scaldingly hot, so much so, that a brief touch was enough to give little Henry serious burns that took a month to heal.

Now dad Andrew says he wants to ensure such injuries don’t happen to anyone else.

“It was a warm day,” Andrew told us. 

“I was in a T-shirt, but these radiators were incredibly hot – hot enough to seriously burn Henry’s skin. 

“The point is it would be so easy to prevent this from ever happening again by using a guard around them.”

Andrew later visited a sister development where he saw the same saleswoman. He asked if the radiators had been made safe and was told ‘yes’,  they’d been relocated out of reach.

But he checked, he says, and found nothing had been done

“The woman was there and I simply couldn’t believe I had been lied to.  She was incredibly rude.

Andrew posted the letter he later wrote to Persimmon Homes with A Spokesman Said to protest at his treatment and demand safety measures be taken.

He wrote: “She told me she was not paid to engage in an argument. She told me I should have been watching my son more closely at the same time as holding the office door open for us to leave. 

“I was holding Henry at the time and was in utter shock and appalled at her manner. Shocked she showed no empathy and the fact that she openly lied about the heaters being moved when they clearly hadn't. Appalled that she insinuated that Henry's second degree burns were down to mine and my wife's poor parenting.”

When the incident happened, Andrew said, he was told he must fill in and sign a health and safety report before leaving to rush his screaming son to hospital.

“I wasn’t thinking straight, to be honest, and I just quickly wrote ‘burnt hand on radiator’ – I should have just refused and left.

“Later a health and safety guy came to our house to get me to fill out more forms – I still haven’t received a copy.

“All we want is for them to take measures to make these radiators safe.

“My wife and I have really punished ourselves wondering if we could have done more, but we only took our eye off Henry for a second and this happened.”

Henry’s hand was so badly burned he had to visit the local hospital every two days for the first week he was recovering.

“Henry is now terrified of anything he fears might be hot and he holds his hand out and to show the scars – I just want to make sure no one else has to go through this.”

We’ve contacted Persimmon Homes and are waiting for their response.