JJB Sports has been fined for health and safety negligence after a teenage student's head became trapped in an escalator at its Oxford store.

Firefighters spent 20 minutes freeing 14-year-old Wei Chang in an incident they said could have proved much more serious.

The Chinese teenager, who was studying at an English school during the summer of 2005, was hospitalised and suffered abrasions to his face after his head was trapped between the moving handrail and the ceiling.

The sports shop pleaded guilty to health and safety charges at Oxford Magistrates' Court and was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £2,500 costs.

Oxford City Council health and safety inspectors found JJB Sports had not provided the necessary guards to the escalator - despite two previous warnings from the escalator service company that it presented a safety hazard. During their investigation officers found there were three sets of guards at the store, but no steps had been taken to install them.

Council environmental health officer Lesley Burgess said: "In this instance the injured boy was lucky to have only suffered relatively minor injuries - it could have been a very serious outcome."