C-store chain Martin McColl has been fined £5,000 for failing to ensure the health and safety of its staff following a robbery which left a store manager with serious head injuries.

Christine Rowe, manager of the chain’s store in Winsford, Cheshire, was knocked unconscious and suffered a fractured eye socket during a robbery in November 2008. Local authority Cheshire West and Chester launched a prosecution after it found the company had not completed an adequate risk assessment, despite an earlier robbery in which both tills were seized.

The company pleaded guilty to the charge, admitting that it “hadn’t done enough”. The group was also ordered to pay £5,000 costs.

Martin McColl now has a policy to ensure that at least two people are present when stores open, and offers staff training on handling workplace violence.

Councillor Lynn Riley, the local authority’s executive member for community and environment, said: “This is the first prosecution of its type for this authority. Advice on health and safety is available to all businesses there really is no excuse to fail store employees.”

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