Belinda Feek is a NZ Herald reporter

Big slide operator set to appeal $115k fine

Eric Mitchell Gerritsen is set to represent himself in the High Court at Hamilton tomorrow. Photo / Belinda Feek
Eric Mitchell Gerritsen is set to represent himself in the High Court at Hamilton tomorrow. Photo / Belinda Feek

A Cambridge businessman who was set to appeal his sentence after being found guilty of obstructing a WorkSafe investigation when a giant slide collapsed, injuring children, filed a last minute application for adjournment.

Eric Gerritsen was fined $115,000 for impeding the inspector's investigation into the collapse of the "Mammoth Slide" his trading entity Event Fun Unlimited was operating at the Masterton A&P Show in February last year, which left a number of children injured.

The children fell from the top of the slide's platform - a height of 12m - with six having to be taken to hospital.Another victim has had ongoing problems with a minor knee injury.

Gerritsen was today set to represent himself in the High Court at Hamilton to appeal his sentence handed down in the Hamilton District Court in December. However, he instead filed an application for adjournment.

A new date will be set by the presiding judge tomorrow during a teleconference that Gerritsen will take part in.

During his previous district court appearances, Gerritsen repeatedly failed to appear but was in court to hear Judge Merelina Burnett hand down his fine.

He was prosecuted by WorkSafe after he repeatedly failed to provide information and documents he was required to supply over a period of months.

The Summary of Facts details a pattern of ignoring email and phone messages - despite warnings that failure to provide the information could be considered obstruction.

Gerritsen was found guilty of one charge of obstructing a WorkSafe inspector under sections 48 and 50(1)(b) of the Health and Safety in Employment Act.

- NZ Herald

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