An inquest into the 2014 death of a young girl thrown from a show ride won’t examine why some companies involved weren’t prosecuted.
An inquest into the 2014 death of a young girl thrown from a show ride won’t examine why some companies involved weren’t prosecuted.

Girl's showride death inquest won’t probe dropped charges

The long-awaited inquest into the death of an eight-year-old girl thrown from a ride at the Royal Adelaide Show will not address why the safety company that inspected the ride was not prosecuted, the coroner's court has heard.

During a directions hearing on Wednesday ahead of the opening of the inquest later this month, counsel assisting the coroner Sally Giles said the scope of the inquest would be broad.

However, she confirmed to deputy coroner Ian White the hearings would not touch on the question of how decisions were made to prosecute individuals or companies - or not.

The decision to drop criminal negligence charges against a safety inspection company were triggers for an ICAC-led evaluation into SafeWork SA, the body responsible for prosecuting workplace safety breaches.

Adelene Leong died in September 2014 when she was thrown more than 10m from the Airmaxx 360 ride while on a holiday in Australia from her home in Malaysia.

The circumstances surrounding her death were investigated by SafeWork SA with charges laid against the company that owned the ride, C J And Sons Amusement, and one of its directors, Jenny-Lee Sullivan.

Adelene Leong, 8, who died after being thrown from a ride at the Adelaide Show in September 2014. Picture: Ten Eyewitness News.
Adelene Leong, 8, who died after being thrown from a ride at the Adelaide Show in September 2014. Picture: Ten Eyewitness News.

Both were fined in the Employment Tribunal after entering pleas of guilty to charges of failing to maintain the ride.

However, charges against Queensland-based company Safe is Safe Pty Ltd, which evaluated the Airmaxx 360, and its boss Hamish Munro were dropped by SafeWork SA. It was alleged the company failed to properly inspect the ride before it was certified for use.

Then-Independent Commission Against Corruption Bruce Lander QC launched an evaluation of SafeWork in the wake of the charges being dropped. Ms Giles said the inquest would look into the circumstances of the accident as well as the maintenance, staffing and safety history of the Airmaxx 360.

 

Adelene Leong, 8, who died after being thrown from a ride at the Adelaide Show in September 2014.
Adelene Leong, 8, who died after being thrown from a ride at the Adelaide Show in September 2014.

 

Other elements include the response of emergency services, the regulatory framework for approving rides and what further action can be taken to prevent similar issues in the future.

"I want to make it clear at this stage what will not be explored at the inquest is any decision made prior to the inquest to, or not to, prosecute parties involved in this matter," Ms Giles said.

Mr White also heard that Adelene's mother Kim Neo Ng would play a limited role in the inquest, but would be monitoring if from Malaysia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Originally published as Showride death inquest won't probe dropped charges

Evidence photographs tendered to the Industry Court of the AirMaxx 360 ride at the Royal Adelaide Show, in which Adelene Leong was flung to her death. Pictures: SafeWork SA via the Industrial Court.
Evidence photographs tendered to the Industry Court of the AirMaxx 360 ride at the Royal Adelaide Show, in which Adelene Leong was flung to her death. Pictures: SafeWork SA via the Industrial Court.


Gympie Show thwarts COVID to follow tradition

Premium Content Gympie Show thwarts COVID to follow tradition

While there will be some changes to comply with COVID restrictions at the Show in...

ANZAC Day 2021: What’s happening and when around Gympie

Premium Content ANZAC Day 2021: What’s happening and when around Gympie

While some of the stricter restrictions won’t be in place come Sunday, RSL clubs...

Hartwig ‘relieved and excited’ Pumpkin Festival is a go

Premium Content Hartwig ‘relieved and excited’ Pumpkin Festival is a go

Festival brass last week said the future of this year’s event remained “murky”...