Boy, 4, killed after uncle ran him over with JCB in the blink of an eye

A four-year-old boy died after he fell off and was then was run over by a JCB driven by his uncle "in the blink of an eye", an inquest has heard.

Harry Isaac Lee died when his uncle, Brian Nutter, "failed to consider the risks and legislation", a jury ruled.

The young child had been standing on the footplate of the loader which was being driven by Mr Nutter on the morning of Monday, July 8 in 2019, LancsLive reports.

Harry, who was brought up on Sabden Old Hall Farm near Burnley, Lancashire, often helped his uncle and treated the farm "like his playground", an inquest at County Hall heard this week.

The child and his mum Sarah Nutter lived at the farm with her mother Ruth Nutter.

As Mr Nutter drove the JCB loader into a field he went over a bump and "in the blink of an eye" Harry had fallen off and was run over.

He suffered a catastrophic brain injury and despite extensive attempts to resuscitate him these were deemed to be futile and he was pronounced dead after being taken to the Royal Blackburn Hospital.

The inquest, which started on Monday, heard Harry was obsessed with tractors and his mum Sarah Nutter said: "He loved nothing more than when Uncle Brian came round."

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Mr Nutter cried in court as he recalled finding Harry under the rear wheel of the JCB.

"In the blink of an eye he weren’t there," he said.

"It all happened so fast. I had to drive forward to get off him. I picked him up and ran down to the farm, into the house, he was in my arms.

"We rang an ambulance and I put him on the floor, I was trying to resuscitate him."

Mr Nutter admitted that it had been dangerous to allow Harry to ride on the footplate and the inquest heard that it is illegal to allow children under 13 to travel on or in agricultural vehicles.

"Obviously I didn’t think that (it was dangerous) at the time but I do now and it is still going on at other farms," Mr Nutter said.

"There are risks on farms. We all do these things and I was the unlucky one; I have learned a big lesson from it. It has changed my life dramatically and all I can do is make sure that I never put myself or anyone else in that position again."

On the night of the incident, Mr Nutter visited Harry’s dad Martin Lee, who lived down the road at Sabden Fold Farm, and said he was "very sorry".

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He told Mr Lee that he had tried to stop Harry from falling off the footplate.

PC Phil Walker, with Lancashire Police’s collision investigation unit, said the JCB’s cab door and seatbelt were missing and added that the footplate, which was dented but not defective, "is not designed for the carrying of passengers".

Area Coroner James Newman referred to a mentality among farming families to allow children to be involved in the day-to-day activities.

"Harry lived on the farm; he wanted to take part and see what was going on just like my own kids did," Mr Nutter said.

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"It was Harry’s playground. Children do things on farms from a very early age. He was growing up and wanted to know things."

Inspector Shellie Bee from the Health and Safety Executive said a separate investigation into Harry’s death, involving any potential criminal proceedings, is ongoing.

The jury was sent out this morning and this afternoon returned to give a short narrative conclusion.

In their conclusion, the jury said: "Harry’s death was caused by inappropriate transportation of a four-year-old child on a footplate on the side of a JCB with inadequate consideration of the risks and health and safety legislation."

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