SOUTH Lakes Safari Zoo boss David Gill has appeared in court today charged with alleged health and safety breaches. 


Dalton zoo tiger attack - family's wait for answers

Barrow council prosecutes in connection with zoo death

Barrow Borough Council prosecuted the zoo and Mr Gill, the director, following its investigation into the death of Sarah McClay, who was fatally mauled by a tiger at the Dalton attraction on May 24, 2013. 

The 53-year-old, represented by solicitor Mr Paul Rogers, appeared before Furness Magistrates' Court on Thursday afternoon. 

He did not give any indication of plea to 14 charges - seven of which are against him, and seven against the company. 

District judge Gerald Chalk adjourned proceedings to Preston Crown Court on October 23. 

The council is also prosecuting Mr Gill and the zoo for alleged breaches of health and safety law following an incident in July 2014, when zoo keeper Jasmin Walker fell from a ladder while preparing to feed big cats.

Mr Rogers said Ms Walker's injuries had "fortunately been relatively low level". 

The allegations also relate to alleged failures to comply with improvement notices which the council issued separately following the death of Miss McClay, 24, and the accident involving Ms Walker. 

Mr Rogers argued the matters relating to the fall from the ladder could be heard at magistrates' court.

But the judge ruled that all matters should be heard at crown court. 

Miss McClay's partner David Shaw was sat in the public gallery for the short hearing, which concluded after 10 minutes. 

A four-day inquest held in September last year concluded Miss McClay was pounced on while working in the keeper’s corridor of the tiger house. 

The male Sumatran tiger, named Padang, was supposed to never have access to the corridor, but it walked straight through a door to where Miss McClay, a former Dowdales pupil, was as she carried out her cleaning and feeding duties. 

An inquest jury ruled in a narrative verdict, which did not apportion any blame.