Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Royal Highland Show organisers fined over accident that killed 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

The organisation that runs the Royal Highland Show has been fined £100,000 over the death of a three-year-old boy.

Ben Craggs suffered fatal head injuries when a moveable concrete bollard fell on him at the event in June 2008.

The Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland was found guilty, on a majority verdict, of one charge under health and safety laws.

The jury at Edinburgh Sheriff Court cleared the society of another charge, also on a majority verdict.

The 13-day trial heard that Ben Craggs was only six days away from his fourth birthday when he attended the show with his parents, who farm at Sedgefield in County Durham.

Ben's father Jonathan, who was exhibiting cattle at the Ingliston showground, had gone with his son to his lorry in the North Car Park to collect his white show jacket.

As Mr Craggs was locking the cabin door, he heard a steward shouting that a boy had fallen.

Public sympathy

Mr Craggs ran to find his son on the ground with a 148kg bollard lying on him.

Together with the steward he lifted the bollard but Ben was bleeding from the nose and ears.

He was taken to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh, but died from severe head injuries.

The court heard that Ben had fallen and seized hold of a rope connecting two bollards, one of which overturned striking him on the head.

Another witness told the trial that the bollards had appeared unstable.

After two hours of deliberation, the jury found the society guilty of failing to ensure that moveable concrete bollards in the North Car Park were provided and maintained in a condition and connected in a manner which did not present a risk of overturning.

Fining the Society £100,000, Sheriff Paul Arthurson expressed public sympathy to Mr and Mrs Craggs for the tragic death of their son.

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