Richard Walkden Wiki
Richard Walkden Biography
Who is Richard Walkden ?
Richard Walkden, 62, sued for the sum of seven figures, alleging that a cable car accident at Drayton Manor Park left him in such severe pain that he was “totally unable to bend his back.”
But his claim for damages against the parent company was dismissed after a judge saw photos on social media of him on a rafting expedition with his family.
The footage showed him wearing a life jacket and helmet, sitting on the edge of a raft before he set off down the rapids of the Crocodile River near Pretoria.
A judge found Walkden, who previously worked as a managing director at green energy firm Eartheat Ltd in Leicestershire, ‘fundamentally dishonest’ and ordered to pay £ 200,000 in lawyer bills, with more to come.
Supreme Court Judge Justice Tipples said the county court judge had the right to find that Mr. Walkden’s claim was dishonest as he had exaggerated his injuries.
How old is Richard Walkden ?
He is 62 year old.
Walkden sued for the seven-figure sum, alleging that a cable car accident at Drayton Manor Park
The court heard that the accident occurred when an operator at the Staffordshire theme park started a cable car containing Mr Walkden and his family too fast, causing it to sway.
He suffered a back injury while in an awkward position, trying to protect his young children at the Easter 2014 outing.
In suing for £ 1.5 million, he claimed the accident had left him in chronic pain, ended his career and his fondness for beekeeping.
He was unable to bend his back at all, he claimed, and he, too, had suffered psychiatric injuries in the traumatic event.
Drayton Manor Park Ltd admitted responsibility for the accident, but questioned the size of Mr. Walkden’s claim and the extent of his injuries.
Drayton Manor theme park fined £ 1 million for ‘systemic …
The heads of Drayton Manor expressed concern about the ride in water rapids …
Evidence showed that he had embarked on a rafting expedition on the Crocodile River, in the western province of South Africa, just eight months after the cable car incident.
Photos on social media showed Walkden sitting on the edge of a raft with rafting gear, while lawyers pointed to other photos that they said showed him going down the river with the rest of his group.
Walkden, who ran a renewable energy company, claimed that he had not participated in all the activity, claiming that he had only joined the party after the rapids, only paddling in calm waters.
But in delivering the original sentence in Leicester County Court in March of last year, Judge Murdoch dismissed his claim.
“I do not accept that he did not make the whole trip, he is equipped to do it, his children are in the picture and yet none of them in the evidence of him say that he did not make the whole trip,” he said.
“ If I were wrong with that analysis, I would find that in any case, you were still being asked to row even in calm water and that would have been tough physical activity.
‘The raft would have to be transported in and out of the water, which again would be tough physical activity. His evidence was not, in my judgment, credible or reliable on this matter. ‘
The judge found that although Mr Walkden would have been entitled to £ 17,600 for the accident, he had so exaggerated his injuries that the claim was “fundamentally dishonest” and would be dismissed.
In challenging the finding in Superior Court, Mr. Walkden’s attorney, Satinder Hunjan QC, argued that the judge had not properly considered all the evidence in Mr. Walkden’s favor.
Witnesses said that he had to give up his hobbies of cycling and beekeeping, and the only proper conclusion the judge could have made was that Mr. Walkden had suffered “serious consequences” as a result of the cable car accident.
Rejecting the appeal and confirming Walkden’s finding of dishonesty and six-figure bill for the case, Judge Tipples said that Judge Murdoch had not ignored or disregarded the evidence.
The witnesses had only given evidence about their perception of how Mr. Walkden presented his disability to them, she said, and Judge Murdoch had found that Mr. Walkden was not “credible” when it came to self-reported injuries and pain from he.
“The judge had before him a great deal of evidence on these matters from lay witnesses, medical experts, contemporary documents, etc.,” he said.
The judge spends most of his trial summarizing and analyzing all this evidence that was presented to him in relation to these issues.
He does so, in my opinion, succinctly and with considerable care and, as a result, he discovered that the appellant was not a credible witness and had exaggerated his injuries.
‘It was in this context that the judge rejected the appellant’s allegation that he suffered from a chronic pain syndrome. Complainant did not suffer a life-changing injury as a result of the accident, which prevented him from working.
“There was ample evidence before the judge to reach this conclusion, and it is not a finding of fact that cannot be reasonably explained or justified.”
He concluded: “There was ample evidence before the judge to conclude that the appellant had been” fundamentally dishonest in relation to the main claim or related claim “and the claim should be dismissed.”
The decision means that Mr Walkden has to pay Drayton Manor’s costs of defending the claim, with £ 200,000 up front, pending a full assessment of his final invoice.
Lawyers say the final bill is likely to total ‘several hundred thousand pounds’.
Evha Jannath was ‘propelled’ from a boat on the Splash Canyon promenade at Drayton Manor in Staffordshire in May 2017.
Eva, who was visiting the park during an end-of-the-year school trip with friends from the Jameah Girls’ Academy in Leicester, then plunged into a 12-foot pool of water where she drowned.
Lawyers for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) filed an indictment against the park for failing to adequately ensure the safety of its guests, saying the operators had monitored “systemic security failures” along the river rapids.
Staff had pointed out safety concerns at an after-hours business meeting 27 days before the fatal incident, the court heard.
He also heard that there were also four incidents where customers were kicked off the trip between 2011 and 2013, including a 10-year-old four-year-old boy who had to be rescued.
Drayton Manor Theme Park Ltd admitted to violating Section 3 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
But the court heard that the £ 1 million fine will never be paid, because the company that owns the attraction collapsed in administration last year. The park has a new owner.
Judge Spencer described the incident as an “absolutely tragic waste of a young life”, sentencing the now-defunct company at Stafford Crown Court today.
Evha, 11, died after being airlifted to Birmingham Children’s Hospital from Drayton Manor theme park on May 9, 2017
At the start of a two-day sentencing hearing yesterday, James Puzey, barrister for the HSE, told the judge the accident happened ‘in context of the systemic failures of safety on this ride’.
‘The control measures they had been failing every day,’ he added.
The court heard from the park’s own barrister Richard Matthews QC, who said it was ‘a corporate failing’.
Evha was ejected from the boat while standing up out of her seat.
She later fell into 12ft of water after plunging from the conveyor belt which takes vessels to the ride exit.
Evha also suffered significant blunt force injuries, the court heard.
The HSE’s lawyers said there was ‘inadequate’ signage for those on the ride telling them to stay seated, ‘inadequate training’ for staff, an element of under-staffing and a lack of emergency planning.
Mr Puzey said static ride CCTV only covered 50 per cent of the course and was’ not an effective means of monitoring the boats’ or their passengers’ behavior.
The court heard that although signs warned passengers to stay seated, people still got up – but Mr Puzey said the management of that risk was the ride operator’s responsibility.
A technical analysis found that people standing up on the ride was ‘relatively frequent’ and that on ‘9 per cent to 16 per cent’ of journeys, passenger ‘misbehavior’ was observed.
Re-watching CCTV of the ride on the day of the accident, experts recorded 70 occasions of people standing up in the boats.
The court also heard that in separate incidents between 2011 and 2013, four people plunged from boats – or ended up being swept – into what was the deepest part of the ride’s course, known as the trough, which is where Evha ended up drowning.
Although none of those falling passengers were injured, the court heard details of one involving a 10-year-old boy in August 2013 which bore similarities to the fatal incident.
The boy was ejected from the ride at the same point as Evha and – like her – was not spotted by ride staff, instead being pulled to safety by a quick-thinking member of the public who climbed a safety rail.
After the fatal incident, a review concluded it was ‘an essential requirement’ that those overseeing the water ride made sure people stayed in seats, and could ‘detect and react’ to passengers falling in.
‘A passenger who is in the water and is in the trough is in immediate danger from a number of immediate hazards which pose risks of death or serious injury,’ it said.
The review concluded: ‘It appears that the past experience of the defendant of having people go into water but thereafter being rescued were taken as assurance this was not a high-risk situation.
‘Such an interpretation would be seriously flawed.’
The court was told how a risk assessment from 2014 was in place but an out-of-hours meeting three weeks before Evha’s death had raised concerns over public safety.
Mr Puzey added: ‘There are nine CCTV cameras that were in use at the time of this incident at various points around the ride and at the station.
‘In total, the coverage by the CCTV cameras covers around 50 per cent but these cameras provide a fixed view and do not have the ability to pan about or zoom.
‘There is a camera covering the final bend at which Evha fell from the raft.
Richard Walkden Quicks and Facts
- Richard Walkden sued for £1.5m over an injury suffered at Drayton Manor Park
- He claimed it left him with pain so bad he was ‘totally unable to bend his back’
- But his damages claim was thrown out after a judge saw pictures of him on a ride
- He was branded ‘fundamentally dishonest’ and ordered to pay £200k in bills