Anna Ryder Richardson cleared over tree fall incident at zooRex



TV presenter Anna Ryder Richardson sobbed as she was cleared of blame over a falling tree branch, which nearly killed a three-year-old boy at her family zoo.

The 48-year-old's husband Colin MacDougall pleaded guilty to four counts yesterday after the incident in August 2010 at Manor House Wildlife Park in Pembrokeshire.

According to the BBC, MacDougall will be sentenced at a later date, Swansea Crown Court heard.

Gruff Davies-Hughes, three, was hit on the head by the falling tree at the zoo and his mother was also hurt.

He spent three days in intensive care while his mother Emma Davies-Hughes, now 30, suffered injuries to her head, leg, pelvis and arm.

The court heard how MacDougall was 'more responsible' for the safety and upkeep of the hundreds of trees at the zoo.

David Morgan, prosecuting, said: 'A three-year-old boy and his mother were injured as a consequence of a tree falling.

'There is evidence to link a breach of health and safety laws with that incident. It is unclear whether a proper regime would have prevented it.

'Anna Ryder Richardson's day-to-day involvement with this part of the company was far less significant than MacDougall's.'

Ben Compton, defending Ryder Richardson, said: 'There is no evidence at all to link her with any form of tree management at this wildlife park.

'It has been a long two years for her. You will see the effect on her in the dock.'

At the time of the incident, she was said to be 'devastated' as emergency services struggled for two hours to free the injured child and his mother. They were taken by air ambulance to Morrison Hospital in Swansea.

Pembrokeshire council investigated the park and decided to prosecute the couple.

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