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Co Armagh man admits health and safety breaches linked to niece’s tragic farm death

Abbie Nummy

A Co Armagh man accused of causing his teenage niece’s manslaughter in a tragic farm accident has admitted health and safety offences.

Derek Nummy, of Altnaveigh Road in Newry, had been due to go on trial this week accused of the manslaughter of Abbie Nummy (14), who was knocked down by a tractor driven by another child in November 2019.

But following legal discussions and defence applications at Newry Crown Court, fresh counts were added to the indictment and the manslaughter charge was left on the books.

On Tuesday, the 48-year-old entered a guilty plea to permitting a child to operate machinery.

He also admitted an offence under health and safety legislation that, as a self-employed person, he failed to ensure, as far as was reasonably practicable, that other persons were not exposed to risks to their health or safety on November 30, 2019.

Following the admissions, prosecuting KC Philip Mateer asked for the two outstanding charges relating to the manslaughter of Abbie Nummy, and a further health and safety offence, to be left on the books.

The court heard previously that the Air Ambulance had been scrambled to the victim’s grandfather’s farm in the Bernish area following the accident.

But tragically the Newry High School pupil passed away.

In court on Tuesday, Judge Peter Irvine KC adjourned passing sentence on Derek Nummy until May 5, ordering that a pre-sentence probation report be prepared in the meantime.

Abbie’s family have raised more than £35,000 for Air Ambulance NI.

Following the loss of their eldest daughter, parents Andrew and Lorna asked for donations in lieu of flowers for Air Ambulance NI and donated £3,700 to the charity in Abbie’s memory.

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