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Operator guilty of safety breach at Barnard Castle Meet
A TEENAGER who suffered a fractured skull when he was thrown from a fairground ride has told how he still suffers flashbacks, as its operator was ordered to pay more than £1,000 by a court.
Martin Brown, 19, a fairground worker, was knocked unconscious after falling from the Crazy Frog ride during the Barnard Castle Meet in 2010. He also fractured an eye socket, sustained four fractures to his jaw and three to his wrists.
Yesterday, the ride’s operator, Elliot Crow, 21, was found guilty of breaching the Health and Safety Act at the end of a case prosecuted at Darlington Magistrates’ Court by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
Crow, of Fairfield High Street, Northallerton, North Yorkshire, was fined £520 and ordered to pay the HSE’s costs of £500 and a £15 victim surcharge.
Richard Conway, prosecuting, told the court that Mr Brown, of Thirsk, North Yorkshire, had worked for the Crow family for three weeks and was riding the Crazy Frog as part of his duties during the event on May 31 in Morrisons car park, off Galgate.
The teenager was trained in its safety features, but had his feet on the seat and was not strapped in properly.
Crow told the court he had more than two years’ experience on the ride, but he said it was a complicated piece of machinery.
He said that when the ride was running, he had to watch a control panel, the ride and the public.
“If I knew that he was not seated properly then I would have stopped the ride immediately,”
he told Neil Cameron, in mitigation.
“It was very dangerous to sit like that. I’d expect him to be sat like the customers were and, if I’d seen him, he wouldn’t have worked on that ride again.”
The ride revolved six times before Mr Brown was thrown clear, but Crow said he failed to spot that he had not been sitting properly.
Andrew Mulligan, the case’s HSE health and safety inspector, speaking afterwards, said: “Fairground rides are designed to be fun and exciting, but they also need to be safe.
“The operator has overall control and of the attendants’ and customers’ safety.”
Mr Brown, speaking after the case, said: “I’m really pleased with the result. Hopefully, this will mean no one else has to go through this.
“I do get flashbacks and my wrists hurt, but I’m alive so I can’t complain.”