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18 February 2013, 11:26
A fairground owner from Bury's been told to pay £30,000 after a 12-year-old girl was badly injured falling from one of his rides.
She fell several metres from the end seat of the High Roller as it swung through the air, landing on the platform below, at Lostock Hall Carnival near Preston in July 2011.
The girl, from Penwortham in Lancashire, suffered fractures to her pelvis in five places, a lacerated bladder, cracked bone in her spine, broken finger and bruising to her lungs.
The Health and Safety Executive prosecuted the owner Gary Gore, 52, after an investigation.
The fall happened after a nationwide safety alert had been issued following a similar incident on the same type of ride at a fairgound in Halifax in 2010.
That left a disabled teenager with bruising down her side and cuts to her face after she fell from the end seat.
Afterwards, operators were banned from allowing passengers in the end seats of similar rides until safety bars had been fitted.
Leyland Magistrates Court was told how the 12-year-old girl, who was injured at Lostock, had been sitting in an end seat with no extra safety barrier.
Gary Gore, from School Street in Bury, pleaded guilty to a health and safety breach and was fined £18,000 and ordered to pay £12,000 in costs.
HSE inspector Mike Lisle said:
"The 12-year-old girl may well be affected by her injuries for the rest of her life because Mr Gore did not act on the safety alert issued by HSE.
"He was given a copy of the warning in person by a HSE inspector nearly a year before the incident, but the young girl was still allowed to sit in the end seat of the ride.
"Mr Gore had failed to fit new safety bars to the ride, despite having over a year in which he could have arranged for this to be done. As a result, passengers were likely to have been put at risk for several months.
"Safety alerts are issued for a reason and there’s no excuse for them not to be followed. This prosecution should act as a warning to business owners of the potential consequences of ignoring them."