Casey Breese inquest: Caersws goalpost 'not secured'

Casey Breese was playing in Caersws in July 2011 when he was struck by a metal goalpost

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A 12-year-old boy died during a kickabout with four friends when an unsecured metal goalpost fell on him, an inquest heard.

Casey Breese was playing in a recreation ground in Caersws, Powys, in July last year when he was struck.

The hearing at Welshpool heard that the "freestanding" posts would have been unstable unless pegged to the ground.

Casey was airlifted to hospital but died as a result of a crush injury. The hearing continues.

None of the four with Casey that day were required to give evidence in person at the hearing after the Powys coroner ruled it would be too traumatic for them to attend.

Instead, the inquest was read the boys' written statements to police following the incident at the recreation ground, which is also home to Caersws football club.

George Clarke, 13, said: "Casey was in goal when he went to make a save. I saw Casey falling on his stomach with the bar landing on his back."

George's twin brother Edward said: "Casey jumped to save a shot but got his foot caught in the net.

"The post fell over on him. Casey was on his stomach but he sat up and said he couldn't breath. His eyes were rolling."

Base plates

The inquest heard that the net was hanging close to the goal line where Casey was standing as it was not weighed down.

His friend Keiron Beaton, 15, said: "He tried to get his foot loose and pulled the goal down onto himself."

The hearing was told the posts were paid for and commissioned by benefactor Garth Williams, known locally as "Mr Football".

Ivor Lloyd, a local welder, told the hearing that he made posts to his own design and specifications.

He said: "I made them roughly 20 years ago but they are mine - you recognise your own work. The posts had base plates which were secured to the ground using pegs."

No health and safety risk assessment was carried out on the posts either by the Caersws recreation association or by the village football club, the inquest heard.

The goalposts were taken away for a police and the Health and Safety Executive investigation and six men were needed to carry them, the hearing was told.

Unsupervised pitches inquiry

PC Andrew Jones referred to an earlier incident when the goalpost fell down, after a boy had been swinging on the crossbar.

PC Jones confirmed that there were no restraining devices to stop the post from falling over.

Following Casey's death, the Football Association of Wales (FAW) launched an inquiry into unsupervised pitches and issued clubs with new guidelines over the use of goal posts.

The seven new guidelines included instructions to dismantle and properly store portable goals not in use.

Clubs are also prevented from using homemade goalposts, which have been altered from their original size.

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