Church charged after child hit by golf buggy at Catholic school


A six-year-old grade one student was left with a brain bleed and broken leg after he was struck by a school golf buggy.

The boy was struck by the golf cart at St Benedict's Catholic Primary School in Mango Hill on February 14, 2018 when he was leaving the toilets and running back to his class room.

The Brisbane catholic archdiocese, that owns and operates the school, has been charged with failing to comply with workplace health and safety duties.

The Pine Rivers Magistrates Court heard the church intends to plead guilty to the charge.

According to court documents on February 14, 2018 the school groundsman Robin Gregory Ball was driving a school-owned E-Z-GO D100 golf cart as part of his duties.

Just before 10am that day he was driving along a concrete path when a grade one student left a nearby toilet block, began running back to his class room and was hit by the golf buggy.

He suffered a right temporal haematoma, a fractured tibia, and damaged fibula.

The court heard the golf buggy was a hazard as the school had not adequately ensured the safety of pedestrians, including school-aged children.

According to Workplace Health and Safety charges the school should have allocated particular times the golf cart could be used and had a warning device on it.

The school should also have had a traffic management plan, to prohibit the buggy from driving near toilet blocks, should only have been allowed to drive on designated paths, and exclusion zones stopping pedestrians going near the cart should have been established.

In court barrister representing the church Joshua Jones said his client planned on pleading guilty to the charges but had some concerns about how the school could have fulfilled the conditions.

He said it would not have been practical to put concrete barriers along a designated golf cart road, and that painted concrete would not have stopped children running in front of the vehicle.

The matter has been listed for a sentence later this year.

Originally published as Church charged after child hit by golf buggy at Catholic school