Dad’s horror as girl, 11, is scratched by dirty syringe

15 June 2017 4:32PM

A distraught dad has spoken of the horror after his 11-year-old daughter was scratched by a dirty syringe at a Whitehaven play park.

Nigel Lancaster, of High Road, Kells, says his daughter Ruby was taken to West Cumberland Hospital to have blood tests for hepatitis and be checked over, following the incident on Sunday afternoon.

The family will now have to wait three months for test results to come back.

Mr Lancaster said: “We are going to be beside ourselves for the next three months. Touch wood everything is going to be fine.

“I don’t want this to happen to anyone else.”

He said his daughter had gone to the Kells play park on Sunday afternoon.

“She stood on the syringe by the play park. It went into the sole of her sandal but it didn’t touch her foot. It was when she went to pull it out she cut her finger,” he said.

“We went up to the hospital with her. She had to have blood tests for hepatitis. We won’t get the results for three months.”

He said his daughter will have to go for further check ups and tests over the next three months.

He reported the incident to Copeland Council.

The incident happened over a busy weekend at Kells, as a community event was taking place on the estate.

Julie Betteridge, Copeland’s director for customers and communities, said: “We are sorry to hear about Ruby’s accident and understand it must have been distressing for her and her family. We have informed the PCSOs for the area.

“Unfortunately we often have to dispose of needles – although it is more common in town centre areas. We have never encountered needles in this particular play park before.”

She added: “We check and clean that site twice a week, on Mondays and Fridays. Also, if the parks team is specifically told about an event, we could check it during or after the event. Unfortunately the team were unaware of this festival.

“On weekdays we respond immediately to calls about needles, and remove them straight away. From the autumn, we will be able to do this at weekends too, as our teams will be available over a seven-day period.”

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