National Grid in court over Burnley boy’s canal death

Robbie Williamson
Robbie Williamson

The prosecution of National Grid over the death of Burnley boy Robbie Williamson will take place in Preston in October.

Shuttleworth College pupil Robbie Williamson (11) died on April 22nd last year after falling from a pipe while playing with friends on a canal bridge.

He slipped from a gas pipe attached to Dugdale Bridge along the Leeds Liverpool Canal in Lowerhouse Lane and hit his head on the bank before falling into the water.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive into the tragedy has led to the charge being made against National Grid.

East Lancashire Coroner Mr Richard Taylor recorded a conclusion of accidental death following an inquest in March, and raised concerns over the ease with which children can access such pipes.

The case was due to be held at Burnley Magistrates’ Court last Friday, but has now been adjourned until October 14th at Preston Crown Court.

It is alleged that National Grid Plc failed to discharge a duty imposed by health and safety legislation, with regards to “the conveyance of natural gas”.

The legislation covers ensuring “as was reasonably practicable” the health and safety of others by preventing the risk of injury by falls from the bridge.

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