Giant slide operator persists with appeal

By Belinda Feek editorial@age.co.nz -
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The Mammoth Slide that collapsed in February 2015. PHOTO/FILE
The Mammoth Slide that collapsed in February 2015. PHOTO/FILE

A Cambridge businessman who was set to appeal his sentence after being found guilty of obstructing a WorkSafe investigation when a giant slide collapsed in Masterton, 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 last February, which left 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.

Gerritsen was yesterday 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 today during a teleconference that Gerritsen will take part in.

During his previous district court dates, 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.

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.

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