UK Sports Betting giant, Ladbrokes, has criticized a landmark decision by a country court ordering the group to pay a betting shop cashier traumatized by armed robbers during a robbery which took place at Ladbroke’s shop in Walsgrave Road, Coventry at 6.30 pm on 5th November, 2007.
Kerry Nicholls was working at the shop when it was raided by two masked men armed with a handgun. After pointing the weapon at her, Kerry was forced to allow the gunman to go behind the counter where he demanded money from the safe, leaving her hysterical and physically sick.
Kerry was awarded an amount of £9,000 by a Walsall County Court Judge last May after suing her employers, Ladbrokes Betting and Gaming Limited for compensation for her psychological injury.
However, Ladbrokes is challenging the ruling made by the County Court in May, 2012, and has lodged an appeal before Lords Justice Jackson, Tomlinson and Floyd in the Appeals Court. The appeal was lodged because the payout was awarded to Kerry on the basis that Ladbrokes had failed to provide the staff at the shop with a safe working environment and should have employed a magnetic locking system with external CCTV – controlled by staff – on the door of the shop after the hours of darkness.
Catherine Foster, on behalf of Ladbrokes, has attacked the judge’s approach to the evidence as “wrong” as the shop, although classified as a low risk shop, was fitted with more security than a low risk shop would be. Foster added that the manager undertook a shop specific risk assessment only one month before the robbery.
The three judges have reserved their decision on Ladbroke’s appeal.