Brick pillar collapses ‘inches’ from Havant girl’s head

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HORRIFIED dad Luke Betteridge has told of the moment a brick pillar collapsed, narrowly missing his six-year-old daughter.

Little Maddison Betteridge had opened the front gate only to have the brick pillar on the garden wall come crashing down, 
narrowly missing her head.

Maddison Betteridge, six, with Luke Betteridge, 25 and three-year-old twins Reggie-Lucas Betteridge and Ruby-Lou Betteridge in their rear garden gateway where the landlord has just started to re-build the fallen pillar. Picture: Malcolm Wells

Maddison Betteridge, six, with Luke Betteridge, 25 and three-year-old twins Reggie-Lucas Betteridge and Ruby-Lou Betteridge in their rear garden gateway where the landlord has just started to re-build the fallen pillar. Picture: Malcolm Wells

Luke, of Rushmere Walk, Havant, said that what happened has had a major impact on his children.

He said: ‘It could have been much worse.

‘The incident made me feel physically sick – it was awful.

‘Maddison has been really badly affected – I’m just hoping that this doesn’t become a long-term problem for her.’

The pillar

The pillar

His daughter Maddison said that the incident has played on her mind a bit, but that she isn’t thinking about it too much.

She said: ‘I was taking my bike out when the pillar almost fell on me.

‘It was really scary for me and I have had a couple of bad dreams, but that’s okay because dreams aren’t actually real.

‘Some people have come round to fix the pillar, which is good.’

Luke, 25, said he has had problems since he and his family first moved into the property.

He said: ‘We have been having problems since day one, but this is just going too far.

‘I’m not asking for everything to be fixed at once, but there are clearly some safety issues that need to be addressed.

‘If that pillar had fallen at a slightly different angle, it could have been much worse – and even fallen on someone walking past.

‘This needs to be resolved as soon as possible, for everyone’s sake.

‘In time I hope we can put this past us and move on, but we were horrified when it happened.’

The property is owned by private landlord David Sharp, who said that he is ‘mortified’ about the incident.

He said: ‘We went round as soon as we heard about what happened and made the front garden safe.

‘Since then we have put a new pillar up, because the old one was quite old and, to be fair to Mr Betteridge, it did need replacing.

‘The weird thing is that when the council came round, we were told that a few bricks at the top were loose – but to have the whole pillar collapse is bizarre.

‘I’m really sorry that 
something like this happened, and want to make it right 
and make it safe for the 
family.

‘Arranging a date for 
our builders to come round did take a few days because of schedule clashes 
between myself and Mr Betteridge.

‘There are a few other things around the property that we need to fix for them, and we will do so as soon as we can.’