Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Tragedy Artwork Creator's Fine Cut; PENALTY SLASHED BY Pounds 7,500 AS DREAMSPACE INVENTOR PLEADS POVERTY

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Tragedy Artwork Creator's Fine Cut; PENALTY SLASHED BY Pounds 7,500 AS DREAMSPACE INVENTOR PLEADS POVERTY

Article excerpt

Byline: NEIL MCKAY

THE grandad of Dreamspace toddler Rosie Wright hit out after creator Maurice Agis won his appeal to have his fine for endangering her life slashed by pounds 7,500.

Agis, 77, whose giant inflatable broke free from its moorings, killing two women and injuring 27 people, was convicted at Newcastle Crown Court of breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act by failing to ensure the safety of members of the public and was fined pounds 10,000.

But yesterday he had the penalty reduced to pounds 2,500 by three judges at the Court of Appeal.

Des Richards, the grandfather of Rosie, the little girl who sustained extensive injuries when she was hurled from the giant inflatable maze as it was swept 150 feet into the air, said: "I have to admit, it doesn't seem right. After all this time, he gets off with a fine like that."

Mr Richards, 59, from Langley Park, near Durham, added: "I know he was cleared of manslaughter but the consequences of that day were that two people died and, there too but for the grace of God, would Rosie. It's all wrong that he gets away paying just pounds 2,500. I feel sorry for those whose loved ones died."

Rosie, now six, suffered a punctured lung, two fractures to her spine and bruising to the brain. Rosie and her four-yearold brother Jack had been enjoying a day out with their mother Penny, when she was thrown to the ground from the giant sculpture before being crushed by a fan used to heat it on July 23, 2006.

DIEDElizabeth Collings, 68

A month-long trial at Newcastle Crown Court previously ended after a jury failed to reach a verdict on two charges of manslaughter through gross negligence relating to the deaths of Elizabeth Anne Collings and Claire Furmedge.

Agis, of Kirton Gardens, Bethnal Green, east London, denied the health and safety offence and charges of manslaughter after the artwork broke free from its moorings at the Chester-leStreet's Riverside Park.

Mrs Furmedge, 38, a mother-of-two from Chester-le-Street, and grandmother Mrs Collings, 68, from Seaham, both County Durham, were both killed. …

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