The prosecution followed an incident on 7 June 2012, when a four year old girl fell nearly four metres through a gap fence on a raised walkway whilst waiting in a queue for the Tomb Blaster ride with her family. She suffered a fractured skull, bleeding to her brain, broken ribs and had to stay in hospital for a month she continues to need extensive rehabilitation and specialist support.
The gap was found to have been caused by a missing paling in the wooden fence which had fallen earlier the day the incident occurred. However, during the HSE’s investigation, they found that Chessington’s system of checking, inspecting and maintaining the fencing was inadequate as the whole fence showed evidence of serious weakening. The HSE stated that the positionof the wooden fencing was hit by rainwater from a roof and that there had been evidence of repairs to other palings over the years which indicated that it had been a recurrent problem.
Chessington pleaded guilty to a breach of s.3(1) of the HSWA and was fined £150,000 with £21,614 in costs.