The Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland has been fined £100,000 after being found guilty of a charge under the Health and Safety at Work Act, concerning the death of a three-year old boy at their annual Highland Show at Ingliston in 2008.
At the end of a 13-day trial at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Thursday (4 December) the jury of nine women and six men, after deliberating for two hours, found the Society guilty by a majority 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.
The boy, Ben Craggs, was at the show with his father, Jonathan and mother, Dawn, who farmed at Sedgefield in County Durham and were exhibiting cattle. On June 19, the first day of the Show, Mr Craggs went to his lorry to collect his white show jacket. Unable to reach the jacket, which was hanging at the back of the cabin, he lifted Ben up to collect it. As Mr Craggs was locking the cabin door, he heard a man shouting that a wee boy had fallen. Mr Craggs ran to find his son on the ground with a 148-kilo bollard on his head. Ben was bleeding from the nose and ears. He was taken to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, but died from severe head injuries.
Ben had fallen and seized hold of a rope connecting two bollards, one of which overturned and struck him.
In a statement, Stephen Hutt, Chief Executive of The Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS) said: “Since 2008, RHASS has cooperated fully with investigators and accepts the court’s findings. Our number one priority has always, and will continue to be, the safety and security of visitors to the RoRoyal Highland Centre. Ben’s death was a tragic accident and our thoughts remain with Ben’s parents.”