No criminal charges to be brought after Dancing Ledge death

Following the death of a man in 2019 at Dancing Ledge near Swanage during a coasteering trip, Dorset Police say they will not be bringing criminal charges.

Iain Farrell aged 49 from Dorney near Windsor, was part of an organised group, when he got into difficulty in the sea on Sunday 26th May 2019.

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Police car in Dorset
Dorset Police

Detailed investigation

Following what Dorset Police called a “detailed investigation, working jointly with Dorset Council”, it was concluded that the conduct of any individual or organisation did not reach the threshold for bringing criminal charges.

A Dorset Police spokesperson said:

“As part of this investigation, a man aged in his 50s and from Wimborne attended for a voluntary interview. No arrests were made.

“Following a thorough review of all the available evidence, as well as consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service, it has been concluded that no criminal charges will be sought by Dorset Police.”

Dorset Police said that the man who voluntarily attended the interview will face no further police action.

Dancing Ledge
Library image

Dancing Ledge along the Purbeck coastline

“The family of the man who sadly died have been fully updated”

A date for the full inquest into the death of Iain Farrell has yet to be set by Dorset’s coroner service.

The police spokesperson added:

“Officers will continue to assist the coroner as part of the inquest proceedings. The family of the man who sadly died have been fully updated and our thoughts remain with them.”

Died from drowning

A post mortem examination in May 2019 concluded that Iain Farrell died from drowning.

He was one of a group of about 11 people who had to be rescued during the coasteering activity, which involved jumping in the sea from rock ledges.

Coastguard rescue teams, RNLI lifeboats, the coastguard helicopter, paramedics and police officers were all called to the scene.

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