THE man charged the manslaughter of Stuart Wilson in a boating tragedy has been given a nine month prison sentence suspended fro three years.
Sentencing of 37-year-old Damien McCann had been adjourned from Monday as the judge did not want to make a kneejerk reaction in the case.
Mr McCann was sentenced to 9 months imprisonment suspended for 3 years after he pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of six year old Stuart Wilson at Cranfield on Bank Holiday Monday, August 30,2010. Stuart died after he was struck by a boat while in the water.
Stuart’s family have expressed their relief and sadness following the sentencing at Newry Crown Court today (Tuesday).
GIn a statement they said: “Gary, Heather, Ashleen, Gareth, Hannah and the rest of the family remain devastated by the death of their son and brother Stuart but are relieved that the court case has come to an end.
“Stuart was a very outgoing child who loved football, outdoor activities and playing with his many friends. Nothing can bring Stuart back to us but we hope now that the proper authorities will study the legislation and regulations around maritime activity and support the Maritime and Coast Guard Agency’s call for stricter legislation.
“We would like to thank all of those who have supported us through this lengthy and difficult time.
“Stuart will always be in our thoughts.
“Gone but not forgotten.”
Police Service Northern Ireland (PSNI) and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) are reminding those who use coastal waters for recreation to be aware of regulations and use the same care and consideration you would show on the roads, following the case.
Captain Jeremy Smart, the MCA’s Head of Enforcement, said: “I would like to express our deepest sympathies to Stuart’s family, I know that nothing can compensate for their loss. This tragic incident must serve as a reminder to all who use the water for recreational purposes that, similar to using public roads, there are rules that govern how craft are to be driven and exercising common sense, particularly when powerful boats are involved, is essential.
“There are numerous approved training courses available covering different types of craft and levels of competence and we would urge all users to get themselves properly trained.”
PSNI Sergeant Kelly Anne Warnock, said: “Our thoughts are firmly with Stuart’s family today. We know that nothing can bring Stuart back but we hope that this case will provide a stark reminder to all that care and attention is needed on the water, as much as on land.
“We would urge everyone who uses the water for recreational purposes to take a moment to ensure that they are knowledgeable of legislation and regulations governing the water before they leave land. They should also exercise extreme care and caution when on the water and be aware of other people in the close vicinity.
“I would also like to thank the Maritime and Coastguard Agency for their support and help during this investigation.”