A farmer who accidentally killed his “loving, caring, kind” four-year-old nephew after falling from a tractor while illegally driving outside the cab has avoided jail. Harry Isaac Lee suffered a catastrophic brain injury when he fell under the wheel of a JCB telescopic handler at Sabden Old Hall Farm in Newchurch-in-Pendle, Lancashire, on 8 July 2019.

He rode on the cab footplate of the tractor driven by his uncle, but stalled when the vehicle turned into a field and was crushed by its wheels. Harry, who lived on the farm with his mother and grandmother, was rushed to the Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital but died despite extensive efforts to resuscitate him.

Brian Nutter, 51, appeared before the Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court Monday after previously pleading guilty to violating Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. He was sentenced to 26 weeks in prison, of which 18 months were suspended. Nutter, of Newchurch-in-Pendle, was also ordered to perform 250 hours of unpaid work and pay costs of £5,154.

Prosecutor Peter Hayes told the court that Harry had a passion for farming and had a “very close relationship” uncle. The JCB had only one seat and “nowhere for another passenger to sit inside or outside the cabin.” As a result, Harry stood on the curb and held on as Nutter drove the short distance from the farm to a field.

However, the boy fell off the step and passed under the rear wheel as Nutter made a turn, the court was told.

Nutter carried his cousin back to the farm and an ambulance was called, but it was clear he had suffered fatal injuries.

Harry Isaac Lee (pictured) was crushed to death by a tractor driven by his uncle on a farm in Newchurch-in-Pendle, Lancashire

 

Harry Isaac Lee (pictured) was crushed to death by a tractor driven by his uncle on a farm in Newchurch-in-Pendle, Lancashire

The court heard that an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that insufficient measures had been taken to ensure the safety of children on the farm. The probe also found that the tractor was not designed to carry passengers, nor did it have a working seat belt, there was no door in the cab, and the step Harry had been standing on had a dent in it – raising the risk of a fall.

The probe also found that the tractor was not designed to carry passengers, nor did it have a working seat belt, there was no door in the cab, and the step Harry had been standing on had a dent in it – raising the risk of a fall.

“He lost a cousin but also a friend in Harry’s father.”

After the sentencing, Harry’s mother Sarah Nutter said the family “will never recover from her son’s death.”

She continued: ‘Losing a child at any age is a traumatic experience, but losing a child in such deeply tragic circumstances is completely life-changing.

“The event of Harry’s death has and will have a lasting effect that I and my family will never get over.

The JCB telehandler driven by Brian Nutter when the fatal incident occurred in July 2019

The JCB telehandler driven by Brian Nutter when the fatal incident occurred in July 2019

‘Agriculture is a lifestyle and a way of life. If we could go back and make different decisions and do things differently, we certainly would. We had to learn it the hard way.

“The dangers to children on farms are often not appreciated when you live with them, but they should be at the forefront of all our thoughts every day.

“I hope the consequences of Harry’s accident will change the attitude of people living on farms and make them think about the dangers their children are exposed to and how easily accidents can be avoided.”

Harry’s father, Martin Lee, added: ‘Harry, even at the age of four so passionate about farming, was my legacy, the person who would take over the farm.

Always smiling, Harry had a love of life that brought joy to everyone around him and he certainly lived his life to the fullest.

“He was a loving, caring, kind and cheerful child, full of affection for his family. It is a tragedy that he was taken from us unnecessarily too soon. His death has traumatized and deeply touched the entire family.”

The current rules, under the Prevention of Accidents with Children in the Agricultural Ordinance 1998, prohibit children under the age of 13 from driving or operating vehicles used for agricultural activities.

It is also forbidden for children to ride on the footplate of an agricultural machine.

HSE Inspector Shellie Bee said: ‘This is a deeply sad and disturbing incident for all concerned. Harry, a four-year-old, was killed in a completely avoidable incident caused by failing to protect him from farm activities.

Harry shouldn’t have been in the workplace or riding farm equipment. Farms may seem exciting places, but they are busy workplaces with moving machinery and vehicles, livestock, chemicals, and many other significant hazards.

“Every year, children are killed and many more are seriously injured as a result of agricultural work. Often the child is a close relative of those who manage and run the farm.

“Harry’s family hopes their story will lead the wider farming community to take steps to fully protect the safety of every child on the farm.”

An investigative jury picked up a narrative conclusion to an investigation into Harry’s death at County Hall in Preston last July.

Source – https://whatsnew2day.com/farmer-51-who-was-driving-a-tractor-when-he-crushed-his-4-year-old-nephew-evades-jail/