Farmer fined after boy (14) collapsed when working with slurry
A 14-year-old was put in an induced coma after being overcome by fumes pumping slurry at a farm, a court has heard.
The teenager, who had been working as part of a summer job, was found unconscious in a tractor in August last year.
Omagh dairy farmer Charles Elkin (66) was yesterday fined £1,000 for breaching health and safety regulations.
The case prompted Judge Neil Rafferty QC to call on farmers to recognise that they were involved in the "most dynamic and dangerous of industries".
The Dungannon Crown Court judge added: "The message really has to go out to the farming community.
"The time has come where we need to be aware that farming is a dangerous industry and that care has to be taken to prevent future generations making our mistakes."
Judge Rafferty said the fault in Elkin's case arose from leaving his son in charge of the slurry stirring along with the 14-year-old who "did not know or was aware of the dangers".
However, he added that Elkin was a man with no record, who had led an absolutely blameless life until he admitted failing to maintain safe conditions on his Mullagharn Road farm near Omagh. On top of the fine, he was ordered to pay costs of just under £1,400.