A NEW investigation has been launched into allegations regarding the conduct of staff at Hampshire County Council after a girl was seriously injured in an accident in Lymington, a court has heard.

The six-year-old was hurt in Quay Hill in December 2015. She had been climbing on a ‘defective’ bollard when it collapsed and she hit her head.

The child suffered a fractured skull and spent months in Southampton General Hospital recovering. She still requires care.

Police initially said the child’s injuries were so severe that she was in a life-threatening condition.

A court later heard officials at the county council had been warned about the safety of the bollard less than a fortnight before the girl was hurt.

Inspectors had checked the bollard, which had been secured with two plastic ties, and had deemed it safe, it was alleged during a trial at Bournemouth Crown Court earlier this year.

A highways engineer apparently pushed on the bollard to check its resistance to movement during the inspection. He concluded it did not present a safety issue and logged it on the council’s system as a job that needed ‘further inquiry’, it was heard.

In June, Hampshire County Council was convicted of breaching health and safety rules in connection with the incident.

The prosecution was brought by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Last week, the case was brought back to the court for sentence.

According to reports, the hearing was adjourned after it was heard staff from the council are facing allegations that they tried to “obstruct justice”.

It is understood that new statements will need to be taken and the evidence reviewed before the case can proceed.

A provisional date for a further hearing has been set for November.

A spokesperson from the council said: “We are considering our position in respect of sentencing on the case.

"We do not consider it appropriate to comment further at this stage, while the matter is sub judice.”

The child was hurt on a family holiday from Buckinghamshire.

A witness who rushed to the scene after the accident and called for help said the girl had been holding onto the bollard when it fell.