Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Security guard describes how he tried to save Ben Craggs

Ben Craggs Image copyright Lothian and Borders Police
Image caption Ben Craggs suffered head injuries after being struck by a bollard when it overturned

A security guard at the Royal Highland Show has been telling a court how he tried to save a young boy after a concrete bollard fell on his head.

Ben Craggs, 3, died after being hit by a bollard which overturned at the Ingliston showground in June 2008.

The Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland has pleaded not guilty to eight charges brought under the Health and Safety at Work Act.

The trial, at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, is expected to last four weeks.

Ben, from Sedgefield, County Durham, was at the show with his parents.

Security guard James Garry said he saw a child out of the corner of his eye in the car park.

He said the boy slipped and tried to grab a rope attached to a bollard but it had fallen on his head.

Too heavy to lift

The 50-year-old, who was stationed at the exhibitors gate, said he ran over and tried to lift the bollard but was unable to do it on his own.

He managed only with the help of the boy's father who arrived moments later.

Mr Garry said, after he lifted the bollard, the boy had blood coming from his mouth, his nose and his eyes.

Mr Garry said: "I just saw this wee boy walking out from the side of the truck. He went under the rope, turned back, slipped, and grabbed the rope.

"The bollard landed on his head. I went to try and get it off. He was lying on his back, facing towards the truck".

Mr Garry said within seconds he was joined by Ben's father and they managed to lift the bollard.

"How was Ben?" asked Fiscal Depute, Alasdair MacLeod. "Still," said Mr Garry.

"Was he bleeding?" asked the Fiscal. "Yes, from his mouth, his nose and his eyes," was the reply.

Fourth birthday

The court had heard the concrete bollards at the car park were about 4ft high and were joined together with rope.

A previous witness, Alexander King, 66, who was working at the showground with Hertz Rent a Car said smaller bollards were fixed in the ground, but the larger ones were not.

They were joined by a blue rope like a clothes line and were on gravel and not on the tarmac road surface.

Ben died from his injuries in the Royal Hospital for Sick Children just six days before his fourth birthday.

It is alleged the society failed to ensure moveable concrete bollards at the showground were stabilised by clamping.

Other charges allege:

  • the society failed to take action about defects in health and safety arrangements which were drawn to its attention by health and safety consultants.
  • that it employed a person as a health and safety co-ordinator who did not have sufficient competence or qualifications and did not provide him with training to undertake the job.
  • it failed to identify the risks of the bollards overturning, exposing employees of contractors and members of the public to risk of severe injury and death.

The trial before Sheriff Paul Arthurson QC continues.

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