BOSSES of a caravan park have appeared in court over a ‘terrible tragedy’ in which a young boy lost his life.

Luca Hurle died after being taken to Furness General Hospital and then Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool.

Police and the ambulance services were called to Old Park Wood caravan park, near Grange-over-Sands, after the four-year-old boy suffered severe injuries in the indoor heated swimming pool in August 2016.

Police later confirmed that Luca died as result of drowning.

Holker Estates, which owns the site, and Andrew Newbold, director of health and safety consultancy firm Newmac, appeared at South Cumbria Magistrates’ Court in Barrow.

Mr Newbold, 48, of Killington Hall, along with his limited company, pleaded not guilty to failing to conduct an undertaking to ensure the public are not placed at risk at both Old Park Wood caravan park and Longlands caravan park at Kirkby.

Both were represented in court by Peter Smith.

Holker Estates, registered at Cavendish House in Kirkby, is charged with four health and safety offences including failing to comply with an improvement notice, failing to conduct an undertaking to ensure the public were not exposed to risks to their health and safety, and contravening a health and safety regulation by failing to carry out a risk assessment to assess the risk of people drowning in the pool at Old Park Wood.

The prosecution is being led by South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) whose counsel Nick Johnson appeared in court.

Sandesh Singh, counsel appearing on behalf of Holker Estates, said the company offered no indication of pleas to the offences.

District Judge Gerald Chalk declined jurisdiction and committed the case to Preston Crown Court.

A plea and trial preparation hearing will take place on December 13.

A spokesman for Holker Group said after the court hearing: “The death of Luca Hurle was a terrible tragedy and our thoughts continue to be with his family. In view of the ongoing proceedings by SLDC, it would not be appropriate to comment further.”