June 19 2013 Latest news:
By Matt Gaw
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
ONE of the organisers at a Suffolk showground where a runaway horse and carriage fatally injured a partially-sighted grandmother has told an inquest that no written risk assessment had been carried out for the attraction.
Carole Bullett, 57, of Clark Walk, Bury St Edmunds, died from serious chest injuries in Addenbrooke’s Hospital shortly after being knocked down at the Nowton Park Country Fair in June 2011.
The inquest into her death has heard how a four-year-old Breton horse, which had been giving rides to visitors, had bolted, with horrific consequences shortly after having its bridle removed.
Today John Smithson, lead organiser of the event for St Edmundsbury Borough Council, told the inquest jury that there was “no specific risk assessment of horse and carriage rides” and that he was also unaware of what qualifications horse owner Duncan Drye might have.
But Mr Smithson, who has organised the Nowton Park event since 1990, said he had met with Mr Drye days before the event to discuss possible risks and confirm the route of the horse and carriage rides.
He said: “From my point of view I would consider that to be a dynamic risk assessment of the situation.”
Mr Smithson added that he believed it was more important to know how the event will work “rather than have a bit of paper.”
The inquest was told that Mr Drye emailed a health and safety document to Mr Smithson in the days after the incident but there was no specific risk assessment for horse and carriages.
The inquest continues.