Youth workers spared trial over walk into gorge during storms
TWO youth leaders, accused of endangering the lives of nine children on a trip to a gorge in north Perthshire last summer, are to escape prosecution, it was revealed yesterday.
The Crown Office confirmed that the charges of culpable and reckless conduct against the two youth workers, employed by Dundee City Council, had been dropped. No further proceedings will be taken against the youth leaders, Kirsty Taylor, 27, of Dundee Road, Coupar Angus, and Fraser Ogilvie, 22, of Derwent Avenue, Dundee.
The two council workers, employed at Dundee's Ancrum Outdoor Centre, had been due to stand trial next week at Perth Sheriff Court.
They were originally charged with culpably and recklessly taking a group of nine children, aged between ten and 13, to a 300ft deep gorge on the River Garry, near Calvine, north of Blair Atholl, on 9 August last year and failing to take appropriate and adequate precautions for their safety.
The charge alleged that they failed to check weather forecasts prior to departure or failed to take heed of weather warnings and led the children into the gorge, causing them to cross rocks while the river was in spate and while heavy rain and thunderstorms were forecast.
It was also alleged they permitted the children to enter the Garry and stand on rocks, as a result of which two girls, aged 13 and 11, were washed into the water. The charge further alleged that the 11-year-old girl was injured and the lives of the others were recklessly endangered.
However, a spokesman for the Crown Office yesterday confirmed: "After careful and detailed consideration of the facts in this case, the procurator-fiscal decided that there should be no further proceedings."
Neither Ms Taylor nor Mr Ogilvie was available for comment last night.
But a relative of Ms Taylor, who did not wish to be named, told The Scotsman: "We thought this was something the authorities might do, but Kirsty has been through a year of hell."
A council spokesman said: "Dundee City Council's communities department has very strict procedures in place for all outdoor educational activities and all members of staff involved in these events are required to operate in accordance with an approved safety manual.
"The city council's outdoor education provision is also subject to annual inspection by the Adventure Activities Licensing Authority and has been commended."
At the height of last August's emergency, a Tayside Police search-and-rescue team and the local civilian mountain rescue team were called to the scene, along with a helicopter from RAF Lossiemouth.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Thursday 23 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 25 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 3 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 20 mph
Wind direction: North east