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An outdoor adventure centre has been found guilty under Health and Safety regulations after a girl fell from a rope bridge.
Fairthorne Manor is a YMCA outdoor adventure centre at Curdridge in the southern part of the Winchester district. In July 2012 an 11-year-old girl was rendered unconscious when her neck became entangled in the safety equipment after falling from the Burma rope bridge.
She was left suspended by the safety equipment until an emergency rescue was initiated which involved her being cut free and dropped into the water below.
She was then flown by air ambulance to hospital where she was put into an induced coma. Thankfully, she made a full recovery.
The incident was investigated by Winchester City Council Environmental Health Officers. A prosecution was brought against the YMCA Fairthorne Group under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 for failing to ensure the safety of those in its care and also under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 for failing to ensure their employees had received adequate health and safety training.
The case was heard at Portsmouth Crown Court in September and October 2017 when the jury delivered a verdict of guilty against YMCA Fairthorne Group for failing to deliver on its general duty to protect the health and safety to persons other than their employees.
The jury was unable to reach a verdict on whether they had or had not provided adequate training for employees.
The matter will return to court on 3 November, 2017 for sentencing.
In a statement the YMCA Fairthorne Group said: "We are naturally disappointed with the verdict on an incident from over 5 years ago; as a leading children and young person’s charity we are devastated that a child was involved in this unfortunate isolated incident.
"However, we take some comfort in the fact that she made a full recovery and would like to wish her well for the future.
"Outdoor centres like Fairthorne Manor continue to be rewarding and exciting places for young people and the entire community to visit and we take the issue of safety extremely seriously.
"All our activities reach national safety standards; where appropriate external approved assessors evaluate our staff members and we deliver activities in line with nationally agreed guidelines.
"Fairthorne Manor is a Hampshire Outdoor Education and AALA approved centre."