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  3. Boss of daredevil show faces prison after admitting health and safety breaches

The owner of a popular daredevil stunt show is potentially facing a prison sentence, after one of the stunt men died while performing.

Scott May, the owner of Scott May's Daredevil Stunt Show, admitted a breach of health and safety that may result in an unlimited fine or a prison sentence of two years.


The incident occurred in 2011 at the Detling Showground in Kent. Matt Cranch, aged 24, was performing the human cannonball stunt, which saw him fired from a cannon. He should have landed in a safety net, but it collapsed in the middle of the stunt. A 2015 inquest ruled that it was an accident, occurring when the net was released, caused by the recoil of the lorry.

Maidstone Magistrates' Court heard from a mechanic from the Health and Safety Laboratory, that the system's design was not sensible. According to May, all staff were trained on the use of the stunt’s equipment, and an inspection had been carried out by Cranch and himself. He added that the act had been performed five times before the tragic accident occurred.

The prosecutors, acting on behalf of Maidstone Borough Council, said that the focus of the case is around the maintenance of the net that had been designed to help the stuntman land safely. The case will now be dealt with at Crown Court, where the owner may face a prison sentence.

The use of PPE, safety workwear and health and safety provision is mandatory to protect members of the public and employees from tragedies like this. 

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