Daughter searches for answers after mother dies while working at bookmakers

Daughter searches for answers after mother dies while working at bookmakers

09:36 July 24, 2022

A grieving daughter searches for the truth following the death of her mother, who died after collapsing in the betting shop where she worked.

Lynne Giffen was pronounced dead at the King’s Lynn branch of bookmaker Ladbrokes on Easter Sunday 2022.

The Tower Street store has a centrally monitored ‘man down’ system, which is activated if a worker falls.

But when Ms Giffen collapsed just before 8pm, the alarm was not raised.

The 69-year-old widow lay on the store’s kitchen floor for an hour until she was seen by a customer, who ran to a nearby restaurant for help.

Police arrived at 9:09 p.m. and an ambulance was on the scene two minutes later.

The doctors couldn’t do anything.

Previously healthy, Ms Giffen, who lived in North Wootton, reportedly suffered a heart attack.

But an autopsy found the cause of death to be pneumonia, Covid and ischemic heart disease.

Ms Giffen’s daughter Sarah, 48, said: “I will never know what would have happened if my mum had received help in time.

“I wonder if she would still be with us if we had given her the chance, but that chance was taken away from us.”

A family photo of Lynne Giffen, who died after collapsing in the betting shop where she worked at King’s Lynn
– Credit: Submitted

Ladbrokes parent company Entain has carried out an internal review after Ms Giffen’s death.

It read: “At 7:52:06 p.m., Lynne can be seen falling forward and then falling to the ground.”

He adds that she couldn’t be seen after that because there was no camera coverage in the kitchen where she fell.

“Lynn does not reappear from the area where she is seen rising from the ground,” he added.

The newspaper says a customer entered the store at 8.39pm and gambled on a machine before spotting Ms Giffen at 8.55pm.

“He sees Lynne and leaves the store, which we assume is to seek help, as he comes back a minute later talking on his cell phone,” he continues.

An ambulance arrived at 9.11pm – an hour and 20 minutes after Ms Giffen collapsed.

The log says the “man down” system was activated at 8:05 p.m. after there was no movement for 10 minutes behind the counter.

There were four other “man down” alarms.

He said an operator pulled up the CCTV, saw Ms Giffen check cash and assumed it was part of her closing procedure, meaning she had left the store.

He concludes: “A comprehensive review of our ‘man down’ system is underway and will be completed in the coming months. »

Ms Giffen had worked for Ladbrokes since the late 1980s. She retired before returning to work because she loved her job so much.

The betting company, which gave her family £3,500 for her funeral, said: “We are extremely saddened by the death of our long-time colleague, Lynne Giffen.

“We have fully supported Lynne’s family and her close colleagues during this difficult time.”

School catering supervisor Miss Giffen, who lives near Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Lynn, said: “It’s going around in my head.

“She was seen going into the kitchen and then it is said that she could be seen falling to the floor.

Lynne Giffen

The Ladbrokes betting shop in King’s Lynn, where Lynne Giffen worked
– Credit: Chris Bishop

“The man fell five times. Why was the alarm not triggered?

The man-down system is operated by security company Link Integrated.

Its managing director, Jim Leitch, said in an email to Miss Giffen that there had been a thorough review of the events leading to her mother’s death.

Contacted by the Eastern Daily Press, Mr Leitch said: ‘She collapsed in a room where there was no camera.

He declined to comment further on the incident.

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