Sheriff withdraws from pool death trial
The trial of a company accused of failing to ensure the safety of a six-year-old boy who died after being pulled unconscious from an Arbroath leisure pool has been delayed.
Aidan Yule or Sands, from Dundee, was spotted at the bottom of the pool at the Red Lion Caravan Park in June 2011.
Loch Earn Caravan Parks Ltd was charged under health and safety legislation.
The sheriff who was due to preside over the case has a connection to one of the firm's directors.
The Crown said it will re-raise the indictment "as a matter of urgency", with the case expected to call again in July at Forfar Sheriff Court.
The six-year-old Mill o' Mains Primary School pupil's lifeless body was quickly dragged out of the water but he died at Ninewells Hospital four days later, surrounded by his family.
Loch Earn Caravan Parks Ltd is accused of failing to make a suitable and sufficient risk assessment to members of the public when using the swimming pool and failing to provide sufficient measures to ensure the safety of all members of the public using the pool.
It is accused of failing to ensure there was adequate supervision of those using the swimming pool, and failing to provide sufficient information, instruction and training to their employees to ensure safe procedures were being followed.
Prosecutors allege that, as a consequence, Aidan, who was unable to swim, became submerged under the water when using the swimming pool and sustained injuries from which he subsequently died.
'Matter of regret'
Sheriff Pino di Emidio told the court: "It is a matter of regret that it seems to be not appropriate for me to deal with the matter because not that long ago I was a close colleague to someone who was connected to one of the directors of the company.
"I am very sorry that it didn't come to light until today.
"The name of a limited company gave no indication that it was someone that I knew.
"It seems to me best that someone else deals with it and I would express my condolences to the family over what happened in this case."
Aidan's father, Kevin Yule, said it was "ridiculous" that the trial had still not started, five years after his son's death.
He said: "I just want it all over and done with. They should have about known this in the court.
"I'm still gutted, really upset."