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Fair ride owner in court after young girl flung from ride

The owner/operator of a fair ride has been sentenced after a nine-year-old girl was thrown from the carriage as the ride was in motion.

What happened?

The youngster was flung from the Twister ride when the safety bar flew open. She was slammed into a metal safety barrier and sustained severe internal bruising, was off school for two weeks and not able to join in PE lessons until the following term.

An investigation into the incident found that the ride was operating 50 per cent faster than its maximum design speed of 11 rpm which increased the ejection force on the riders. Additionally, the secondary locks for the safety bars, which keep riders in their cars, were not in use.

The owner and operator of the ride, Patrick McGeough, was served with a Prohibition Notice and a direction to leave undisturbed was served preventing the ride’s further use until it had been inspected and faults rectified. An Improvement Notice was also served requiring Mr McGeough to fit a means to ensure the ride could not be operated beyond its safe maximum speed. Both Notices were complied with.

What was the outcome?

Patrick McGeough was fined £1500 and ordered to pay costs of £1500, after admitting to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc act 1974.

HSE inspector, Neil Ward, said:

“Members of the public quite rightly expect fair rides to be safe.
This one was not and it led to a traumatic incident
for a young girl and her family.

“The incident could however easily have been prevented. Operating the ride
beyond the speed it was designed to be run at, and without the
secondary locks in place was a recipe for disaster.

“Patrick McGeough had a duty to ensure his customers were kept safe on
the ride but he failed in that duty.”

If you have been affected by an accident similar to this, and you would like expert advice, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6888 or email

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