THE man in charge of a 5m high inflatable slide which blew over at Swanage Carnival has said the incident was "exaggerated".

The Chinese-made slide, owned by Ralph Guyan, 62, was hit by a gust of wind at the event on August 3, 2016, and toppled over before being dragged some 10m, despite the desperate attempts of parents to hold it down.

Nine children on the slide at the time were treated for injuries, although none suffered any broken bones.

One mother said her five-year-old son had been forced to crawl for weeks after the incident due to the crippling pain.

At Poole Magistrates Court on Monday Guyan, of Snowdrop Gardens, Highcliffe, admitted two counts of breaching health and safety regulations.

However, representing himself, he told the court he had been just as "hurt" as the victims.

"I feel sorry for the kids, I feel sorry for the families," he said.

"But I think a lot has been exaggerated.

"It has hurt me just as much, I know I shouldn't say that.

"I haven't worked for two years. I have got depression, I break into tears all the time.

"It has affected me. I have never had any injuries [on my inflatables] before, no bumps, no bruises, nothing.

"It was just a freak gust of wind."

In a victim impact statement read to the court one mother, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, said her son had been "absolutely petrified".

"It was a heart-breaking experience, so awful to witness," she said.

"He was strapped to a spinal board for a long time. After he was discharged from hospital he was being sick and urinating blood. He was in absolute agony for five or six weeks."

Prosecuting for Purbeck District Council, Tom Horder said a Health and Safety Executive investigation after the incident found a number of failings.

"With the risk of children falling off or being thrown off as it toppled over, or being trapped underneath, there must be the potential for the very worst kind of physical injury or even death," he said.

In particular, he said, the investigation found that the inflatable could only be secured to the ground via 16 anchor points, where UK regulations required 26 points.

Some ropes were found to be frayed, and stays were at the wrong angle to prevent the slide being lifted.

Also, Mr Horder said, Guyan – who has operated inflatables for 15 years – had failed to account for wind speed in his risk assessment, which he had drawn up himself, and the inflatable itself had no printed information on safe maximum wind speeds.

He said the forecast on the day of the incident was for 18mph winds with gusts of up to 30mph.

Guyan has no previous convictions.

The case was adjourned for a probation report to be prepared, with sentencing to take place on August 2.