Cumbria festival brain injury charges denied

Organisers of the Kendal Calling music festival have pleaded not guilty over an incident in which a crane driver was severely injured in Cumbria.

Donald Berry, 46, of Radcliffe, near Bury, was setting up the stage when he was hit by a high-voltage cable.

He suffered brain injuries which have left him immobile, unable to communicate and needing 24-hour care.

Two companies and three directors faced a total of eight charges at Carlisle Crown Court.

Kendal Calling Limited of Chapel Street, Salford and director Ben Robinson, 31, of Horsforth, Leeds, are charged with contravening health and safety regulations and breaching an employers general duty to an employee.

Kendal Calling Director Andrew Smith, 25, of The Promenade, Arnside, is charged with contravening health and safety regulations.

Piper Event Services Limited, of Howle Hill, Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, and the company's director, Jason Warren Piper, 47, of Wye Street, Ross-on-Wye, are also each charged with one count of contravening health and safety regulations.

The charges were brought by Eden District Council which alleges that the organisers failed to ensure the safety of people - including Mr Berry - who were working at the site.

The trial is expected to start in February 2013.

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