Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 4°C

min temp: -2°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Fersfield: Farmyard tragedy was ‘avoidable’ - rules inquest

18:04 21 February 2013

Norfolk coroner, William Armstrong

Norfolk coroner, William Armstrong

Archant

THE death of a toddler in a farmyard accident was a tragedy which could have been avoided, a coroner said.

Twenty-two-month-old Edward Criddle was crushed when a farm worker’s van drove over him as he played at his grandparents’ farm near Kenninghall.

Coroner William Armstrong expressed sympathy to the youngster’s parents, Richard and Lucy, but said Edward should not have been let out of sight while his father worked at Fersfield Lodge Farm, Fersfield.

“Farmyards are places of work, they are potentially dangerous: they are not playgrounds, or places of leisure or recreation,” he said, “Edward should have been under direct and constant supervision.”

He said it was a “painful” conclusion to reach, but he had a duty to promote public safety and agreed with the Health and Safety Executive’s assessment that the tragedy, on November 22, could have been avoided.

A jury returned a verdict of accidental death.

In a statement, Mr Criddle, of Wash Farm, explained the impact the child’s death had had on him, his wife and his three-year-old son, also called Richard. “The events of that day have left my family devastated. Edward was a bright and happy little boy who had his whole life ahead of him,” he said. “Lucy, Richard and I miss him deeply, and he will always be a part of our lives.”

Edward had been playing in the cattle shed while his father tended them when farmworker Kelvin Sutton parked in front of the doors at around 4pm. After a discussion, Mr Sutton – who had worked on the farm for more than 40 years and was known to the boys as Uncle Jacko – reversed to allow Mr Criddle to get his tractor out, then pulled forward.

Mr Criddle noticed Edward was no longer in the shed, but said he thought he was with his grandmother.

Mr Sutton said: “As I pulled forward I felt the rear right wheel ride over something. I thought to myself ‘There’s nothing in the yard to ride over’. I stopped straightaway and I could see Edward lying behind me in a puddle of water.”

Police investigators said Edward may have been knocked over when Mr Sutton reversed, or could have slipped in the puddle. He died from serious head injuries.

Mr Armstrong said Edward’s death could not be blamed on Mr Sutton, and offered his condolences to the family, saying: “I know you will have some happy and wonderful memories of this bright and bubbly little boy, which I hope can sustain you.”

Related articles

0 comments

Jess Naya, at the bridge in Central Park, Chelmsford, near where her husband Chris was attacked. Photo: Will Lodge/Archant

The wife of a dad-of-five who has been left with severe injuries after a late-night assault has made a heartfelt plea for witnesses to come forward.

Ed Sheeran Castle on the Hill

The director of Ed Sheeran’s Castle on the Hill video has praised the Suffolk community for helping during the filming.

The 2017 Hidden Harms conference at the University of Suffolk. Pictured: Dr Emma Bond, University of Suffolk. Pic: Gregg Brown.

A national conference discussing how mental health issues affect young people and what support should be provided took place at the University of Suffolk today.

Police at the scene of an incident in Samuel Street Walk

A production manager who moved to Suffolk from Northumberland died after suffering a head injury, an inquest has heard.

A person has died and another is seriously injured after an 'explosion in a boiler room' of a ship

A crewman who suffered severe burns in an explosion on board a container ship, which killed one of his colleagues, is reported to be making good progress in hospital.

Tributes have been paid to ‘kind, funny and caring’ Fred Hart from Ipswich who has died aged 81

Tributes have been paid to ‘kind, funny and caring’ Fred Hart from Ipswich who has died at the age of 81.

The scene after the flat fire in Roman Road, Lowestoft. Photo: George Ryan

A bricklayer who lost his life in a flat fire in Lowestoft may have gone back inside his burning home, an inquest has heard.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24