Highland Show denies safety breach after boy dies

The showground at Ingliston, Edinburgh. Pic: Jane Barlow
The showground at Ingliston, Edinburgh. Pic: Jane Barlow
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The Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland has pled not guilty to eight charges of health and safety breaches, including an incident which led to the tragic death of a three-year old boy.

The RHIS is facing trial over allegations of contraventions of the Health and Safety at Work Act. Appearing at Edinburgh Sheriff Court today, Peter Gray QC, representing the Society, pled not guilty to the eight charges on the indictment, which are alleged to have occurred between October 2005 and November 2009. Sheriff Paul Arthurson QC continued the case for trial on November 17.

It is alleged that the Society failed to ensure that moveable concrete bollards at the Ingliston Showground were stabilised by clamping or otherwise as was necessary for the purposes of health and safety, and on June 19, 2008, three-year old Ben Craggs fell and seized hold of a rope connecting two of the bollards, which caused one to overturn and strike him on the head, causing severe head injuries, as a result of which he died.

Ben and his parents from County Durham were attending the opening day of the Show. His parents had been exhibiting livestock. After the accident, Ben was taken to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, but died from his injuries.

The trial is expected to last four weeks.