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Ride owners plead guilty to safety breaches in Royal Adelaide Show death trial

Ride owners plead guilty to safety breaches in Royal Adelaide Show death trial
May 30, 2017

The owners of an amusement ride that flung a young girl to her death at the 2014 Royal Adelaide Show have pleaded guilty to failing to maintain the ride in a safe condition in the South Australian Industrial Court.

Eight-year-old Malaysian national Adelene Leong died when she was ejected from the Airmaxx 360 ride at the Wayville Showgrounds in September 2014.

The guilty plea from C,J and Sons Amusement Pty Ltd, and its Director Jenny-Lee Sullivan came after a Safework SA prosecutor told the Industrial Court that the show ride was not properly maintained and had injured children before.

Safework SA prosecutor Stephanie Halliday told the court the defendants failed to properly maintain the ride and had not properly enforced appropriate safety standards since purchasing the device from a Spanish manufacturer in 2012.

Halliday raised questions over the safety of the belt mechanisms used on the ride, stating there were serious "design flaws" in that area and in the advice given regarding the appropriate minimum height for patrons using the ride.

She also told the court that log books dedicated to recording any repairs or routine services of the Airmaxx 360 were not properly maintained by Sullivan or the company.

Halliday told the Court "the lack of information defeats the purpose of a log book ... this is a significant failing to maintain this device."

The prosecution also said there had been other incidents of injuries to young patrons using the Airmaxx 360 in Victoria in 2013 and NSW in 2014.

Halliday added “none of those incidents appeared in the log book (which) reflects a lack of an appropriate system of work."

C,J and Sons Amusement Pty Ltd co-director and the husband of Sullivan, Clinton Watkins, was originally charged with work safety breaches as well, but those charges were dropped ahead of the hearing.

The defendants' lawyer, Mark Griffin QC, said the guilty plea indicated the company and Sullivan had taken responsibly for any oversights in their maintenance of the show ride.

He added that they had relied on advice from experts assigned to check the ride, conduct safety inspections and give recommendations about appropriate safety classifications.

Griffin told the court his clients were extremely remorseful, stating "they recognise it pales in significance to the burden that has fallen on Ms Ng.

"Their deep sorrow and sadness at the events of that day ... is so profound."

Separate legal action is being taken against safety Inspection company Safe is Safe Ltd and its Queensland-based Director Hamish Munro.

The Court will hand down a penalty on 7th July.

Image: Adelene Leong died after being flung from a ride at the Royal Adelaide Show in 2014. (Courtesy of SA Police)

13th May 2017 - ADELAIDE SHOW DEATH CHARGES TO PROCEED AGAINST SAFETY INSPECTION COMPANY  

14th December 2016 - NON-COMPLIANCE IN ATTRACTIONS AND ENTERTAINMENT HAS ITS COSTS

10th November 2016 - AMUSEMENT OPERATOR TO PAY $80,000 AFTER PLEADING GUILTY TO HEALTH AND SAFETY CHARGE

23rd September 2016 - SAFETY INSPECTOR’S LEGAL TEAM ARGUES LIMITED RESPONSIBILITIES IN ROYAL ADELAIDE SHOW DEATH CASE

5th July 2016 - OWNERS OF RIDE IN ROYAL ADELAIDE SHOW FATALITY ‘EXPOSED’ RIDERS TO SERIOUS HARM

15th June 2016 - RIDE OWNERS CHARGED OVER ROYAL ADELAIDE SHOW FATALITY

2nd September 2015 - SAFEWORK SA COMPLETES INVESTIGATION INTO 2014 ROYAL ADELAIDE SHOW RIDE DEATH

12th September 2014 - CHILD DIES AFTER FALL FROM RIDE AT ROYAL ADELAIDE SHOW 


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Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

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