Craig Hassall secures £333, 344 fine + costs for Lightwater Valley Attractions Ltd on behalf of the Health & Safety Executive.

On Friday the 4th of December District Judge Lower sitting at York Magistrates’ Court heard that on 30 May 2019, a child was ejected from the Twister ride at Lightwater Valley Theme Park in Ripon, North Yorkshire resulting in serious head injuries.

The seven-year-old was airlifted to hospital with head injuries after falling from the ride at Lightwater Valley in North Yorkshire.

The theme park’s procedures for the Twister ride stated that those between 1.2m and 1.5m tall must wear seat belts, several children under 1.5m in height were not wearing seat belts on this ride.

This was seen in CCTV footage over several days and mentioned in statements by members of the public. On examination of the restraining systems, many belts were not functioning correctly. On several occasions, the final position of the lap bar restraint allowed significant gaps to remain in the containment and did not fully contain smaller passengers.

Lightwater Valley Attractions Ltd, pleaded guilty of breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £333, 344 and ordered to pay costs of £16,183.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Andrea Jones said: “A child suffered life-changing head injuries at Lightwater Valley theme park.

“Our investigation found that the theme park did not implement suitable operating procedures and monitoring of ride operators in relation to the ride restraints.

“This was an entirely avoidable incident. Several children were put at risk and Lightwater Valley has now been held to account for their failings.”

Prosecuting on behalf of the HSE Craig Hassall said the victim suffered serious head injuries following the fall and was airlifted to hospital in Leeds.

His mother saw him slip under the restraint as he was ejected from the car which was between two and three meters from the ground at the time

Mr Hassall said seatbelt rules were not universally understood by ride operatives and that maintenance of seatbelts was not adequate or in effective working order.

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Yorkshire Evening Post


Craig Hassall is a specialist in Business and Regulatory Crime Health and Safety and is Head of PSQB’s Regulatory Crime and Public Law Team

He is well-known for his ability to conduct highly complex cases and is currently involved in many high profile cases involving multi million pound turnover companies. He receives repeated recognition in legal directories as being ” The consummate professional – calm under pressure with the ability to think quickly on his feet” ” a key name to note” Legal 500 (2021)

For further information about Craig or any member of the team please contact the Regulatory & Public Law clerks:

Madeleine Gray on 0113 202 8603

Patrick Urbina on 0113 213 5250