max temp: 11°C

min temp: 8°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Bury St Edmunds: Council to be prosecuted over Nowton Park death

10:28 18 January 2013

Moments after Mrs Bullett was knocked down

Moments after Mrs Bullett was knocked down

© SWNS Group

THE Health and Safety Executive will prosecute St Edmundsbury Borough Council and the owner of a horse and carriage over the death of a partially-sighted grandmother at a Suffolk fair ground.


Carole Bullett, 57, of Clark Walk, Bury St Edmunds, died from serious chest injuries in Addenbrooke’s Hospital, a day after being knocked down at the Nowton Park Country Fair in June 2011.

The Health and Safety Executive has been reviewing evidence of the incident since an inquest into Mrs Bullett’s death in October last year returned an accidental verdict.

Yesterday the HSE confirmed that the council, who organised the event, had been charged with contravening a health and safety regulation.

Duncan Drye, who owned the horse and carriage and was running the ride attraction, will also be prosecuted.

During a two week inquest, a jury was told that the four-year-old horse called Lucas, had “thrown its head back and ran” moments after its bridle was removed by Sally Tyrrell.

The 24-year-old told the jury that Mr Drye, who also employed her to help on his horse-drawn tours of Bury St Edmunds, had given her several basic driving lessons – but no health and safety instructions.

She added she was “pretty certain” that it was her employer that had given her the instruction to take off the harness, something strongly denied by Mr Drye.

Days later the inquest heard from John Parker, president of the British Driving Society, who said the horse could have bolted because he did not want to return to work.

Mr Parker added that it was “in everybody’s rulebook never to take the bridle off the horse”.

John Smithson, park redevelopment manager for St Edmundsbury Borough Council and lead organiser of the event, told the inquest that no specific risk assessment had been carried out and that he was did not know what qualifications Mr Drye had. Mr Smithson added that he had met with Mr Drye days before the event to discuss possible risks and the route in what he described as a “dynamic risk assessment”.

A spokesman for the HSE said: “I can confirm that the Health and Safety Executive will prosecute St Edmundsbury Borough Council and Mr Duncan Drye for offences under Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Etc Act 1974 in relation to the fatal incident at Nowton Park in Suffolk in June 2011.

“As this is now a matter for the court it would be inappropriate to comment further.”

The case, which was due to open at West Suffolk Magistrates’ Court yesterday afternoon, has been put back until February 7.


1 comment

  • Whilst "The council" must be taken to task, if they are fined it is effectively the tax payer who pays. Surely,the money will have to be found through cut backs in various budgets.

    Report this comment

    The original Victor Meldrew

    Friday, January 18, 2013

Daniel Compton with daughter Evie

The parents of baby Evie Compton have spoken of their heartache after revealing it is unlikely she will be allowed to fly home to Ipswich for Christmas.

Matt Bunn joined the Ipswich Round Table's annual Rudolph Run.

The festive lights have been switched on in the middle of Ipswich and – before we know it – Rudolph and Father Christmas will be spreading their magic around town.

Don't feed the ducks this winter

People are being urged not to feed left over bread to the ducks in Ipswich’s Christchurch Park.

Ipswich Crown Court.

A Suffolk parish council clerk who carried out a £16,000 fraud by over-ordering stationery items and selling them on the internet has walked free from court after a judge decided not to send her straight to prison.

A parade of puppets, live bands, fireworks and a packed Angel Hill, Abbey Gardens and town centre - the annual Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre

Tens of thousands of people swarmed to west Suffolk this weekend for what organisers expect to have been a record breaking Christmas Fayre.

Mick Mills and Bobby Robson with the UEFA Cup in 1981. (Photo Dave Kindred/Archant)

A local football story jumped from the sports pages to take over the EADT’s main news spot on November 30, 1981.

Hadleigh High Street

After 16 years running her shop from the same building, Barbara Boyd is ready to take it up a gear as she moves into new premises.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder

Property search

e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Digital Edition

Read the East Anglian Daily Times e-edition today E-edition

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24