Offbeat Video

By Sophie Norris

A young girl nearly had her finger severed off after a self-closing toilet door in Costa Coffee slammed shut and trapped it.

Madison Smailes, nine, was visiting a Costa branch at Kingston Retail Park in Hull, East Yorks, when her left forefinger was caught between the heavy door and the frame as it quickly swung shut.


The schoolgirl was rushed to Hull Royal Infirmary in an ambulance before being transferred to Sheffield Children’s Hospital for emergency surgery to save the finger a day later.

Her parents now fear the finger may never fully recover or regain any sensation after the horror incident which left the door and floor covered in blood.

Dad Jonathan, 40, claims a faulty door mechanism meant the door did not close slowly as it should have done.

Costa Coffee has said it is sorry to hear what happened to Madison and has launched an internal investigation.


Madison went to the Costa branch on May 30 with her mum Kirstie Smailes, 39, her two sisters Jessica, 11, and Amelia Smailes, 9, and their family friend Alex Clowery, 13, when the incident took place.

Jonathan, from Barnsley in South Yorkshire, said: “It was truly dreadful what happened. I could hardly believe it when I walked into the store. Her finger was hanging off.

“There was blood all over the place and Costa Coffee called an ambulance. It was on the door, the floor, the toilet – the other three girls were hysterical.

“Madison will be scarred for life and it will take years for her nail to grow back.

“She’d opened the door to get into the toilet cubicle and it jolted back on itself really fast.

“It was out of her control and when Alex pulled the door off her trapped hand the end of her finger was hanging off.”


The group had been in the café for 10 minutes and were enjoying hot chocolates when Madison went to the toilet.

She and friend Alex both went into the toilet and as Madison entered the cubicle the door’s mechanism gave way and slammed on to her finger, causing blood to go everywhere.

Jonathan raced to the store to help take care of her and the other girls after receiving a call from his wife Kirstie.

In a video Jonathan took after arriving at the store a member of staff appears to say the door is ‘lethal’.

The footage shows him investigating the door with the staff member, after which Jonathan alleged the door’s hydraulic hinge was faulty.

Jonathan, a technician, said: “The five of them had only been in there 10 minutes when Madison went to the toilet with our friend Alex, who is 13.

“It had a scissor opening and the hydraulics had gone, so instead of slowing down before it closed, it sped up.


“Alex is 13 and had to open the door back off her finger and see the injury.

“I rushed from Barnsley to Hull to be with them as Kirstie was looking after the other girls and trying to see to Madison.

“An ambulance took her to Hull Royal Infirmary and they temporarily slotted the end of her finger back on to the bone. Then we travelled to Sheffield.

“She had surgery where they took her fingernail off and repaired her nailbed because it was severely damaged. They then stuck the end of the finger back on.

“She was in shock and it wasn’t until well after that it sunk in.”

Following the incident Jonathan and his wife contacted the coffee chain to inform them what had happened.

Jonathan said: “One guy in Costa said that the door had already been reported four times and if you listen on the video, the man who saw to Madison also said it was ‘lethal’.

“The door was closing too quickly. If a mother was carrying a baby and the door closed on them the scenario could be a lot worse.”

Madison now struggles with day-to-day tasks including showering and brushing her hair.

Her parents are eagerly waiting to see if she will get the feeling back in her fingertip.

Jonathan said: “We’re still unsure if she’ll ever get sensation back in that part of her finger.

“Madison can’t do day-to-day tasks because it’s hard with her bandage on.

“She can’t have a proper bath or shower because her hand needs to be waterproofed, she can’t put her hair up because she uses that hand to brush her hair.”

A Costa spokesperson said: “We are aware of the incident and were very sorry to hear about what happened to Madison and wish her a speedy recovery. Following further discussions with the family the incident has been escalated and reopened.”

A spokesperson for Yorkshire Ambulance Service said: “We are able to confirm that an ambulance attended the location on 30 May 2018 and transported a patient to hospital for treatment.”