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Owners of ride which killed Malaysian girl unable to pay hefty fine

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 15 Jul 2017

PETALING JAYA: The owners of a ride that killed eight-year-old Malaysian Adelene Leong (pic) while she was on holiday in Adelaide, Australia in 2014 have been fined A$157,500 (RM528,031) but cannot afford to pay it, reports the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

Leong was on holiday from Malaysia in September 2014 when she was thrown from the Airmaxx 360 ride at the Royal Adelaide Show.

According to ABC's report, the company that owns the Airmaxx ride, C J And Sons Amusement, and one of its directors Jenny-Lee Sullivan pleaded guilty to breaching workplace safety laws by failing to maintain the ride in a safe condition.

ABC reported the amusement company was fined A$94,500 (RM316,818), and Sullivan A$63,000 (RM211,212), plus a maximum compensation sum of A$20,000 (RM67,051).

However, ABC said Australia's Employment Tribunal magistrate Michael Ardlie said he was satisfied both were unable to pay the fines because of their dire finances.

Ardlie therefore declined to make any order which would force them to pay the fines.

"The first defendant has a debt of over A$1mil (RM3.35mil) and the income stream of the second defendant is, to say the least, minimal, so there is simply no chance of paying the fine," he said.

ABC reported that convictions were recorded and the defendants were each ordered to pay a victims of crime levy of A$420 (RM1,408).

It was reported that during earlier court proceedings, the girl's mother Kim Neo Ng said in a statement that her life had become meaningless and she was often in tears since the tragedy.

The court heard that the company failed to register the ride's design, which was the first of its type to be imported to Australia, as required by law.

It was also reported that the maintenance regime of the ride was inadequate.

The magistrate said the company failed to ensure an adequate system in place for the recording of any maintenance and repair work.

Ardlie said other omissions included failing to record injuries to other Airmaxx riders during shows in Melbourne and Sydney.

"There were two chests injuries, a neck injury which required a patron to be conveyed by ambulance, and a concussion," he said.

However, Ardlie said that the company did not deliberately or knowingly cut corners or avoid responsibility.

At the time of a SafeWork SA audit shortly before the 2014 Adelaide Show, the ride was not operational because the four primary lock cylinders were being replaced, reported ABC.

The court heard that another inspector, Hamish Munro, the sole director of Safe is Safe Pty Ltd, was subsequently directed to do the inspection.

Munro and his company are facing separate charges over the tragedy.