Funfair bosses guilty after woman thrown from ride and left in a coma in west London park

A rider on the XLerator at the Funderpark in Yiewsley, Hillingdon, was badly hurt after being thrown from the fairground ride
Police tape surrounded the XLerator ride at the Funderpark in Yiewsley, London.

A woman was left in a coma and fighting for her life after being flung out of a dangerous fairground ride, a court has heard.

Khadra Ali, 51, visited the Funderpark Fun Fair in Yiewlsey, west London, with two of her children when she was badly hurt in an incident on the XLerator ride.

After the ride started spinning, Mrs Ali slipped out of her seat and was flung through the air and landed on the ground, Westminster magistrates court heard.

She suffered a broken back, multiple rib fractures, her hip was broken in nine places, she had damage to her lungs, kidneys, and liver, and had bleeding on her brain

Mrs Ali spent 49 days in a coma after the accident, which happened on April 10, 2018, and has been left with permanent damage.

She has lost function in her arms and legs, she now needs a wheelchair, and has carers to help with basic tasks including washing and dressing.

The owner of the ride, Derek Hackett, 64, manufacturer Perrin Stevens, 40, and David Geary, 65, whose company was responsible for safety checks, have all now pleaded guilty to health and safety breaches over the incident.

Guilty pleas were entered at Westminster magistrates court (Alamy/PA)

The court heard the defendants are set to blame each other for the accident, and have each offered basis of plea statements.

“There is an issue between all the defendants as to who is the most responsible among them”, said prosecutor Alex Stein.

He told the court prosecutors from the Health and Safety Executive will argue this is a serious case because of the length of time the funfair ride had been in use.

“The mechanism was used for many years by many customers”, he said.

“A very large number of members of the public were put at risk.

“It obviously was a case of serious injury to Mrs Ali.”

Police tape surrounded the XLerator ride at the Funderpark in Yiewsley, London.

Immediately after the incident at Phillpotts Farm in Yiewsley, a health and safety advisor for the funfair – who is not among the defendants – was quoted as saying he and other managers were in “deep shock” at the woman’s injuries.

"We're desperate to know how it happened so we can make sure nothing like that can ever happen again”, he said.

"It shouldn't have happened. People should come to a fair, have a good time and go home and that's that.”

Geary, who gave an address in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales, and his company DMG Technical Ltd, based in Hoxton, north London, admitted health and safety breaches between June 2014 and April 2018.

They admitted putting funfair visitors, including Mrs Ali, at risk of “uncontrolled ejection from the amusement ride”.

Deputy Chief Magistrate Tan Ikram adjourned sentencing until next year, and ordered a hearing on January 16.

He was told Hackett, who lives in Radcliffe in Manchester, is currently undergoing a bone marrow transplant for cancer treatment, and may not be well enough for court proceedings.

He and Stevens, from Windsor, both pleaded guilty last year, while Geary and his company entered their guilty pleas on Monday, ahead of a planned trial.

Stevens and Geary each admitted two health and safety breaches, while DMG Technical and Hackett pleaded guilty to one health and safety breach each.