Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 30 September 2014

Turkey parasail death: Two jailed

Glenn Hudson with his wife Linda

The family of a man who died after plummeting 150ft to the ground when his parasail harness broke on a family holiday have welcomed prison sentences for the men responsible.

The widow of Glenn Hudson said the driver of the speedboat pulling the parasail and the owner of the Turkish parasail company played "fast and loose" with his life. The pair were sentenced to 20 months in jail by Manavgat Criminal Court in Antalya province after being found guilty of criminal negligence, the family's solicitors Irwin Mitchell said.

Roof tiler Mr Hudson, 50, from Wivenhoe, Colchester, was strapped together with his daughter Emma, 26, for the 15-minute £40 parasail when his harness, which had been damaged by the sun, snapped on July 24 last year in the resort of Side.

Miss Hudson said at the time that her father was joking about the harness failing and how peaceful and safe the trip was when he suddenly dropped from the sky.

Now Mr Hudson's widow Linda, daughter Emma, and Mrs Hudson's son Benn said lessons must be learnt from the tragedy and safety improved to prevent further suffering. The family are supporting calls for more rigorous safety checks to be put in place before the summer season gets under way.

Mrs Hudson said: "There were no checks. They just strapped them in and sent them up. You think these people know what they are doing - you presume it is safe. I won't let what happened to Glenn go, and I will fight for better safety regulations. Even if it saves one more life it will have been worth it.

"I am pleased that these men, who saw fit to play fast and loose with my husband and daughter's life have been brought to account for their actions. But 20 months seems so trivial compared to the lifetime of pain that my family face. Summer starts soon and I want some assurances that lessons have been learnt and that Glenn did not die in vain. Only then will justice truly be done."

Katie Jones from Irwin Mitchell, who fought the case on behalf of the family, added: "This has been an incredibly difficult year for Mrs Hudson, Emma and Benn, who have been devastated by the loss of a loving father and husband.

"Although they feel that no prison sentence will ever make up for what they have suffered, they are relieved that some justice has been done and welcome the decision taken by the Turkish court to issue custodial sentences.

"Turkey is a wonderful holiday destination but every year we are called upon to help dozens of British holidaymakers who are injured in Turkey or the families of those who have been killed there due to inadequate safety precautions."

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