Page last updated at 16:27 GMT, Friday, 17 July 2009 17:27 UK

Tragedy artist appeals over fine

Maurice Agis
Maurice Agis denied all charges relating to the incident in July 2006

The creator of an inflatable artwork which blew away in a County Durham park killing two women in 2006 is appealing against his £10,000 fine.

Maurice Agis, 77, of east London, was convicted at Newcastle Crown Court in March for safety law breaches.

He was ordered to pay off £80 a month or face six months in prison.

Agis has been granted leave to appeal against the size of the fine on the grounds it is beyond his capacity to pay. An appeal date is yet to be fixed.

Claire Furmedge, 38, from Chester-le-Street, and Elizabeth Collings, 68, from Seaham, died and 13 others were injured when the Dreamspace artwork broke free from its moorings at Riverside Park in Chester-le-Street in July 2006.

Many of those hurt were inside the 2,500-square-metre artwork, which consists of inflated rooms connected by tunnels.

It flipped over before crashing into a CCTV pole where it deflated.

The life of one victim, three-year-old Rosie Wright, was saved by passing anaesthetist Peter Evans.

Agis, of Bethnal Green, had been charged with manslaughter but the jury was discharged after failing to reach a verdict.

Brouhaha International, which organised the tour of Dreamspace, was fined £4,000 and Chester-Le-Street District council, which helped organise the event, was fined £20,000.



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