Guilty plea for lawnmower death

Last updated 10:45 26/05/2014

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A 72-year-old council worker charged in relation to a four-year-old boy who was run over and killed by a lawnmower has pleaded guilty in court this morning.

Name suppression for the Hastings District Council worker was continued in Napier District Court this morning. He will be sentenced in July.

The worker was charged by police with reckless driving causing death.

On October 8 last year, Uetaha Dahtanian Ransfield-Wanoa was playing at Kirkpatrick Park with his cousins when he was hit.

Onlookers at the Hastings park said that he appeared to be sucked into the mower's blades.

The accident was witnessed by his 8-year-old uncle and other children, who ran to get help. Uetaha died at the scene.

His family described him as a bubbly, cheeky boy with a mischievous grin, ''who was loved by everyone''.

WorkSafe NZ completed an investigation into the incident earlier this month.

The council was charged under the Health and Safety in Employment Act, which requires employers to ''take all practicable steps to ensure that no action or inaction of any employee while at work harms any other person''.

If found guilty, the council could face a maximum fine of $250,000.

WorkSafe has not charged the employee.

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- The Dominion Post

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