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Oswestry skate park death: Rave boss avoids being sent to jail

Shrewsbury | News | Published:

The operator of a Shropshire skate park who held an illegal party at the premises where a man collapsed and later died, has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Matthew Jones

Crispin Wrigley had deliberately failed to tell police investigating the death that there was a basement at the premises at Rednal, near Oswestry, where the Halloween rave party was held two years ago.

The businessman was in serious breach of fire safety regulations. Revellers were said to have been "partying in a powder keg" at an event which also had no music licence or alcohol licence.

Wrigley, 39, was given a total of 18 months in prison, suspended for two years, and must be on a monitored curfew for the next three months during an appearance at Shrewsbury Crown Court yesterday.

Judge Jim Tindal said that while Wrigley was not legally responsible for the death of Matthew Jones, 20, who died on the way to hospital, he had run an illegal and gravely unsafe party.

"Scores of people could have been killed or injured and it was more by luck than judgement that there was not a fire," he said.

Wrigley, of Cabin Lane, Oswestry, must also complete 300 hours' unpaid work, the maximum allowed, and pay £5,000 towards the estimated £40,000 costs covering the Shropshire Fire & Rescue Service and Shropshire Council investigations and the court proceedings.

He had pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice and 16 offences relating to fire safety rules and licence regulations at an earlier hearing.

Mr Spencer said people at the event were smoking and there was a huge amount of flammable material, hidden debris and no smoke alarms and no back-up lighting.

Mr Jones, of Johnstown, near Wrexham, is believed to have taken controlled drugs at the party and collapsed early on November 1, 2014, as he celebrated his 20th birthday.

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