AN ADVENTURE playground owned by an ex-Sherriff of Chester was found guilty of breaching a health and safety order this afternoon (Monday).
The Crocky Trail, Waverton, which has more than 60 attractions and is used by thousands of adults and children every year, was found guilty of failing to effectively stop access to a 12ft drop slide.
The jury at Chester Crown Court decided that despite removing the stairs up to the slide and putting "do not climb" signs up that it could still be used by members of the public.
Speaking after the trial owner and director Ed Walley, a former city councillor and Sheriff of Chester, said: "It is a victory for common sense. I am innocent of six charges out of seven. The fact that the prosecution was awarded only £2,000 costs out of more than £24,000 clearly shows how the court was sympathetic to The Crocky Trail. I agree with the judge, it should never have come to court and was a huge waste of rate payers money. It could have been averted if the council health and safety inspectors spoke to me on the day they visited."
The company was ordered to pay a £1,000 fine and costs of £2,000, despite the prosecution requesting a sum of £24, 302 for the four day trial.
Last week two further charges, breaching similar orders by failing to supervise the large and small spider traps, and not having sufficient supervision were dropped. The jury also found Crocky Trail Ltd not guilty of failing to breaching a supervision order on the drop slide when inspectors visited the attraction on July 1, 2007.