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Solway Holiday Village faces £34k court bill after visitor hurt in deer attack

Carlisle Magistrates Court
Carlisle Magistrates Court

[T]he owners of Solway Holiday Village at Skinburness, Silloth, have been fined £14k and costs of almost £20k after pleading guilty to a charge under the Health and Safety at Work, Act 1974.

The company failed to discharge their duty under the act both for employees and visitors safety.

District Judge Gerald Chalk was told how the company owned by Sam Hagan Leisure (UK) Ltd, admitted two charges under the act.

The offences took place on October 25, 2015, when a visitor was attacked by a red deer stag, the animal attacked a family visiting the farm area of the camp site.

Mr Johnson was with his wife and two-children, the court was told he asked a park employee if it was alright to walk along a footpath and see the red deer, he was told wrongly, yes it would be okay, even though signs stated no-visitors in that area, it was the “rutting-season” and at that time there could be a possible danger to the public, the stag ran towards Mr Johnson and he was injured on the legs, thigh and buttocks the judge was told.

Mr Johnson has already been paid compensation by the company for the injuries and trauma caused.

The company, Sam Hagan Leisure UK Ltd, pleaded guilty to two offences under the Health and Safety At Work etc Act 1974. These are Section 2(1) of the Act in that the company failed to ensure, so far as was reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of their employees in connection to the keeping of red deer, and also under Section 3(1) of the same Act where the company failed to ensure, as far as reasonable practicable, the health and safety of persons not in their employment in relation to the keeping of red deer.

There was a third charge under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations, 1999, which referred to the failing to carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment, but this was not pursued further.

Judge Chalk sitting at the magistrates court in Carlisle was told the site has no stags on their land now and a complete overhaul of health and safety on the site has been undertaken since the incident.

After the two-hour hearing the company were fined for the breach of the Health and Safety Act, for the injured visitor a fine of £10,000 and £4,000 fine for the member of staff’s breach under the Act, the prosecution costs were £19,703.47 with a victims surcharge of £120.00, the judge said this was a horrible day for the Johnson family, he has scars and the family had been affected in a mental way.

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