Mid Wales

'Devastated' family of James Corfield's Royal Welsh safety review call

James Corfield Image copyright Dyfed-Powys Police
Image caption Mr Corfield was a member of Montgomery Young Farmers Club

The family of a young farmer whose body was found in a river after a night out during the Royal Welsh Show say "urgent safety issues" must be addressed.

James Corfield, 19, from Montgomery, went missing at last year's event near Builth Wells and his body was found in the River Wye six days later.

A coroner concluded his death was accidental. Mr Corfield's family said they were working with show organisers.

The Royal Welsh Show said they were committed to "maximise public safety".

Mr Corfield's mother Louise and father George want to make the annual four-day event - one of the largest agricultural events in Europe which attracts about 240,000 visitors every July to Llanelwedd in Powys - "safer for the young people of Wales".

"There are important and urgent safety issues that have been identified and are currently starting to be addressed," said a family statement read by their solicitor Paul Inns.

"We will be working hard to ensure that these improvements will be in place before July to make sure things will be a lot safer this year."

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Media captionFamily tribute to 'bright shining light'

Powys council set up and is co-ordinating an action group to improve the safety of people attending the Royal Welsh Show - looking at issues such as lighting, fencing, transport and medical centres - after Mr Corfield's death in July 2017.

Footage

CCTV pictures of Mr Corfield's last known movements were played at Friday's inquest in Welshpool.

It showed him walking away from a group of minibuses for people staying at a young people's village across the River Wye from the main showground.

He was seen heading in the direction of the rugby field which has a path alongside the river.

Insp Andrew Pitt from Dyfed-Powys Police, who led the search effort, told the hearing it was his supposition Mr Corfield had gone into the River Wye in an attempt to reach the young people's village.

Mr Corfield, a member of Montgomery Young Farmers Club, was due to meet his family at the showground the next day.

His mother reported him missing after he failed to show up on 25 July.

Search teams

The inquest heard that by that evening, police considered him to be a high-risk missing person and a large-scale search was launched.

A police helicopter, along with boat and dive teams, mountain rescue crews, the fire service and search dog handlers were involved, along with other volunteers.

Mr Corfield's body was found on Sunday 30 July.

His mother told a police family liaison officer her son "would not have gone into the river voluntarily" as he did not like the water.

Another police officer told the hearing there was no evidence of any third party involvement in Mr Corfield's death.

Steve Hughson, chief executive for Royal Welsh Agricultural Society, said: "The Royal Welsh Agricultural Society is committed to ensuring its events are planned and organised to maximise public safety.

"We have also taken an active lead in ensuring that best practice is translated across all elements of Royal Welsh Show week, which includes the local community. We will continue to work in partnership with all interested parties in this regard."

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