THE man in charge of a large blow-up slide which flipped over at Swanage Carnival injuring seven children says he will never operate inflatables again.

Ralph Guyan, 62, of Snowdrop Gardens, Highcliffe, was handed down a suspended prison sentence at Poole Magistrates’ Court yesterday, after previously admitting two counts of breaching health and safety regulations.

The five metre Chinese-made slide, owned by Guyan, was hit by a gust of wind at the event on August 3, 2016, and toppled over before being dragged ten metres, despite attempts by parents to hold it down.

At least nine youngsters had been on the slide at the time. One of them was admitted to Poole Hospital, three others taken there as a precaution, and three treated at the minor injury unit in Swanage. None of the injuries were serious, mostly minor wrist and foot injuries, the court heard.

However, Tom Horder, prosecuting for Purbeck District Council, said: "There was potential for the very most serious injuries, or, indeed, death."

Mr Horder also tolf the court: "A number of parents described seeing their children being thrown into the air" and "hearing a large number of screams."

An earlier court hearing was told one mother said her five-year-old son had been forced to crawl for weeks after the incident because of the pain he was in.

Representing himself, Guyan – who has operated inflatables for 15 years – told the court: "I am never going to do inflatables again, I've done them for a long time and my trust has just gone in them."

He also said: "It (the inflatable) had been up for three hours beforehand, it was just one freak gust."

But a Health and Safety Executive investigation after the incident found a number of failings.

Investigators discovered the inflatable could only be secured to the ground via 16 anchor points, where UK regulations required 26 points.

Some ropes were also found to be frayed.

And the maximum sideways wind the inflatable could withstand was 24mph.

On the day of the incident, which took place on the carnival showground at Swanage's Sandpit Field, there were wind gusts of 31mph, the court was told.

Yesterday's hearing also heard Guyan, of previous good character, had no means to measure wind speed

Mr Horder said: "It would have been a simple and obvious measure to have a wind monitoring device, allowing the defendant to know if it was safe for children to go onto it.

The forecast on the day of the incident was for 18mph with 30 mph gusts.

District Judge Stephen Nicholls sentenced Guyan to ten weeks, suspended for 12 months.

He was also ordered to complete 250 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay £1,000 costs and a £115 victim surcharge.