Anna Ryder Richardson’s husband admits safety breaches at couple’s wildlife park

Anna Ryder Richardson with her husband Colin MacDougall outside court. Picture: PA
Anna Ryder Richardson with her husband Colin MacDougall outside court. Picture: PA
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TV STAR Anna Ryder Richardson sobbed into her husband’s chest today after he admitted serious health and safety breaches which put a mother and her young child in hospital.

The celebrity interior designer wept uncontrollably and refused to leave his side after identical charges against her were withdrawn.

Ryder Richardson, 48, was due to stand trial this morning at Swansea Crown Court with husband Colin MacDougall, 46.

Both had previously denied the charges against them and were ready to refute the accusations over the trial’s scheduled three weeks.

The couple jointly run the Manor House Wildlife Park in St Florence, near Tenby, West Wales.

Gruff Davies-Hughes suffered serious head injuries at the attraction when a heavy branch fell on him during strong winds in August 2010.

The three-year-old spent three days fighting for his life in intensive care after being airlifted to hospital.

His mother suffered head injuries and fractures to her leg, pelvis and arm.

The mother and son, from Llanelli, were among dozens of people visiting the wallaby enclosure at the time.

The admission of guilt today potentially leaves the way open for a civil claim for damages from the injured pair.

MacDougall admitted the charges he had previously denied when they were re-read to him in the dock today.

Ryder Richardson collapsed into his arms as he pleaded guilty to both offences. She then buried her head in her husband’s chest and sobbed.

MacDougall also pleaded guilty to two identical charges on behalf of their joint company, Manor House Wildlife Park Ltd.

The admissions mean he and the company failed in their duty of care to people both in and not in their employment.

The two charges against Ryder Richardson were withdrawn. She was told she could leave the dock while discussions about sentencing her husband continued.

But she clung to her husband’s arm and, in tears, asked: “Can I stay?”

She was allowed to do so by the judge.

MacDougall will be sentenced at a later date.