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Firm to pay £100k over Chorley boy's death
A firm has been ordered to pay more than £100,000 after a teenager was killed when his motorbike hit a metal wire strung across a country track.
Ryan Acaster, 17, from Brinscall, was riding a 110cc off-roader when it hit a 2cm-thick wire on the Hesketh estate, near Southport on July 20, 2008.
J A Jones & Sons (Churchtown) Ltd, a tenant of the 2,000 acre estate, was fined £50,000 and ordered to pay £50,209 costs.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted the firm for failing to ensure the safety of people visiting the estate.
It entered a guilty plea at Liverpool Crown Court on Friday.
After the proceedings, Ryan’s father, Dean said: “Ryan was a happy-go-lucky lad who always had a smile on his face.
“No amount of fine would have made us feel better but it’s nice to get some sort of justice. That was the first time we had heard anything like an apology through the five years.
“We hope the judge’s actions will deter anybody else who is thinking of doing something similar.”
The court was told Ryan was biking with a group of friends on the path known as Sutton’s Cart Track. He was travelling at around 19mph when he was flung from his bike.
A HSE investigation found the company had erected the cable in a dark, wooded area part of the way down a track.
The teenager lived with his mum, Dianne.
HSE inspector Lisa Bailey, said: “If the company wanted to stop people using the track then it should have installed a proper barrier or warning sign at the entrance. That way, it could have kept vehicles away without putting lives in danger.”
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