Highland Show fined £100,000 over Ben Craggs death

Ben Craggs, who was killed in an accident at the Royal Highland Show car park.'' Pic: submitted

Ben Craggs, who was killed in an accident at the Royal Highland Show car park.'' Pic: submitted

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The Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland has been fined £100,000 over the death of a three-year old boy at the Highland Show at Ingliston in 2008.

After a 13-day trial at Edinburgh Sheriff Court the jury of nine women and six men deliberated for two hours before finding the Society guilty of a charge under the Health and Safety at Work Act .

They found by a majority the Society had failed to ensure that moveable concrete bollards in the North Car Park were provided and maintained in a condition and connected in a manner which did not present a risk of overturning.

The jury returned a majority verdict of not guilty on a second charge under the Act.

Youngster Ben Craggs was only six days away from his fourth birthday and was at the Show with his parents Jonathan and Dawn, who farmed at Sedgefield in County Durham and were exhibiting cattle.

On June 19, the first day of the Show, Mr Craggs went to his lorry which was parked in the Silver Flow area of the North Car Park to collect his white show jacket. Unable to reach the jacket, which was hanging at the back of the cabin, he lifted Ben up to collect it.

As Mr Craggs was locking the cabin door, he heard a man shouting that a wee boy had fallen. Mr Craggs ran to find his son on the ground with a 148 kilo bollard on his head.

He and the man, a car parking steward, lifted the bollard off the boy. Ben was bleeding from the nose and ears. He was taken to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, but died from severe head injuries.

Ben had fallen and seized hold of a rope connecting two bollards, one of which overturned striking him on the head.

Fining the Society £100,000, Sheriff Paul Arthurson allowed 28 days for payment and expressed public sympathy to Mr and Mrs Craggs for the tragic death of their son.

In a statement, Stephen Hutt, Chief Executive of The Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS) said: “Since 2008, RHASS has cooperated fully with investigators and accepts the court’s findings. Our number one priority has always, and will continue to be, the safety and security of visitors to the Royal Highland Centre. Ben’s death was a tragic accident and our thoughts remain with Ben’s parents and extended family at this difficult time.”