Corporate Manslaughter Verdict After Death of Putney Girl

11 year old Mari-Simon Cronje killed at children's birthday party


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A water sports company has admitted corporate manslaughter in the case of an 11 year old girl from Putney who died at an event they had organised.

Mari-Simon Cronje was attending a children's birthday party in September 2010 and was part of a group riding an inflatable banana boat on a lake at the Prince's Sporting Club in Bedfont. She fell into the water and was hit by the boat's propeller. She died after suffering serious leg injuries.

Southwark Crown Court heard that there were a number of health and safety deficiencies at the club and staff reported a 'lax' attitude including no 'spotter' on the boat to warn the driver of problems. The man driving the boat at the time of the accident was Matthew Gibson from New Zealand. Although he had five year's experience as a ski-boat driver he held no UK-recognised qualification.

He failed to see that Mari-Simon had fallen in the water despite the attempt of witnesses who had leapt into the river to get his attention.

The Princes Sporting Club & Director Frederick Glen Walker, a director of the company, was summonsed in January 2013, for offences under section 3(1) and section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. He was cleared of any offences as the Crown Prosecution Service dropped charges against him.

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November 22, 2013