A grieving father has been left “gutted” after the trial into his son’s death at an Arbroath caravan park was deserted this week.
In June 2011, six-year-old Aidan Sands, or Yule, was rescued from the bottom of the pool at the Red Lion Caravan Park, only to die the next day in Ninewells Hospital.
Site owners Loch Earn Caravan Parks Ltd, of Errol, were charged under health and safety legislation and the case called at Forfar Sheriff Court yesterday (Wednesday).
However, Sheriff Pino di Emidio was forced to apologise to the boy’s family as he told them he was deserting the case ‘pro loco et tempere’ (for the place and time).
The sheriff explained: “It is a matter of regret that it seems to be not appropriate for me to deal with the matter because, not that long ago, I was a close colleague to someone who was connected to one of the directors of the company.
“I am very sorry that it didn’t come to light until today. The name of a limited company gave no indication that it was someone that I knew.
“I have been asked by the Crown to desert the case pro loco et tempere and it is the Crown’s intention to raise the case again, probably around mid July.
“It seems to me best that someone else deals with it and I would express my condolences to the family over what happened in this case.”
The boy’s father, Kevin Yule, said it was “ridiculous” the trial had still not started five years after the death of his son.
He added: “I just want it all over and done with. They should have about known this in the court. I’m still gutted, really upset.”
It is alleged that between July 1, 2007, and June 18, 2011, at The Seafront Leisure Centre, Red Lion Caravan Park, Dundee Road, Arbroath, the company failed to ensure so far as was reasonably practicable, that persons not employed by them who may have been affected were not exposed to risks to their health or safety in that they did:
Fail to make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to members of the public when using the swimming pool there;
Failed to provide sufficient measures to ensure the safety of all members of the public using the swimming pool and in particular (i) fail to ensure there was adequate supervision of those using the swimming pool and (ii) failed to provide sufficient information, instruction and training to their employees to ensure safe procedure were being followed;
And as a consequence on June 18, 2011, Aidan Caleb Yule, also known as Sands, then aged six, who was unable to swim, became submerged under the water when using the swimming pool there and sustained injuries from which he subsequently died.