Tag Archives: crown court

Medical waste was dumped on farm land – Neil John Spooner was fined £2,000 for two offences at Little Tressells Farm,

A man’s farm became a dump when he allowed waste, including medical items, to be tipped and stored there without an environmental permit.

Neil John Spooner was today (Wed) fined £2,000 for two offences at Little Tressells Farm, The Tye, Margaretting, Essex and was ordered to pay full costs of £2,900 by Chelmsford Crown Court.

The court heard that a significant amount of mixed waste was deposited at the farm and a lagoon had been filled in with chopped waste plastics.

During an interview Spooner claimed that he did not know that this type of waste was being deposited there, as for part of the time he was working in London when it was tipped by three unnamed men. Spooner said that he only asked them for stony material to make a track for a paddock.

He said he had been quoted up to £500,000 to clear the rubbish and the house had been devalued by £1.5 million.

Spooner’s home, Little Tressells Farm, was repossessed on 25 November 2011and he was evicted from the following August. He was made bankrupt in January 2013.

Tim Poulding and fellow Environment Agency officer Peter Cooke first visited the farm on 10 January 2012. They saw a large lorry tipping fine material onto the ground.

Mrs Anne-Lise McDonald, prosecuting for the Environment Agency, said: “There was a lagoon filled with shredded plastic including fragments of plastic and rubber tubes, plastic syringe casings and card board drug packets.

“Spooner was told it was illegal to deposit waste without a permit. The next day, Mr Poulding wrote a letter to him reiterating the need to clear the waste by 23 February 2012.”

However, visits on 25 January, 10 February and 16 February showed no change in the quantities of waste on site. On the last date some of the waste had been moved around and a man on site said he had been employed by Spooner to separate the waste into different waste types.

Further visits on 4 April, 7 June and 19 September again showed no change in the waste on the site.

Amongst the medical waste there was no evidence of hazardous materials such as needles, body parts or blood products.

Mr Mike Warren, defence solicitor, said since the offences Mr Spooner had lost his house and been made bankrupt.

“The property was devalued overnight by the waste.”

Miss Recorder Champion in sentencing said Spooner had lost virtually everything and had ‘carried the can for others’ but had been ‘foolish and irresponsible’.

After the hearing Environment Agency officer Tim Poulding said: “Mr Spooner apparently made the decision to allow unnamed individuals to dump waste on his property and subsequently learnt that the waste type was not what he was expecting.

“It was his responsibility to check what was being tipped, by whom and whether or not this activity would comply with environmental laws.

“He could easily have prevented this material from being indiscriminately dumped on land in this attractive rural area.”

via Environment Agency – Medical waste was dumped on farm land.

Chestnut Homes Ltd and their site manager, Peter Tute, sentenced after bricklayers fatal fall

A Lincolnshire house building company has been fined and a site manager sentenced to community service after a self-employed bricklayer fell to his death from dangerous scaffolding.

Justin Gillman, 26, of Holland Fen near Boston, Lincolnshire, died when he fell backwards almost two metres while working on a residential building site in Skegness on 26 February, 2010.

Chestnut Homes Ltd and their site manager, Peter Tute, were sentenced at Lincoln Crown Court today (5 September) after an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) identified serious safety failings.

They included allowing untrained people to build scaffolding, failing to check it was safe for use and for failing to ensure the safety of workers once it was in use.

The court was told that Mr Gillman and a colleague were told by Mr Tute to extend some scaffolding around the walls of a block of three terraced houses being built.

Neither were qualified or had any experience of erecting scaffolding, and as the site manager Mr Tute should not have entrusted them with the task. Mr Tute should have brought back a contracted to do the work.

HSE inspectors established that Mr Tute did not provide Mr Gillman or his colleague with any instructions in how to build the scaffolding and left them to improvise and get on with it.

They built a scaffolding platform that had no guard and the structure was a different height to existing scaffolding on the rest of the plots. As such, it was unsafe and posed a clear risk.

However, according to the Scaffold Inspection Record for the site, the whole scaffold was inspected on the day Mr Gillman died and was adjudged as being safe by Mr Tute.

On the day of the fatal fall, the weather was too poor for bricklaying so Mr Gillman and his colleague decided to load out the scaffolding with bricks for work the following Monday.

Having loaded out two sides of the scaffolding, Mr Gillman loaded a further band of 80 bricks on a trolley and pulled it backwards, past some guard rails that were raised out of the way, and up a makeshift ramp onto the scaffolding.

Mr Gillman fell backwards from the end of the unsafe scaffold where there was no guard rail to prevent him falling. The band of bricks he was pulling landed on him, and he died at the scene of his injuries.

Chestnut Homes Ltd of Wragby Road, Langworth, Lincoln were fined £40,000 after pleading guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

Peter Tute, 50, of Donington Park, Lincoln, was ordered to carry out 240 hours community service after pleading guilty to breaching Section 7(a) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

The court will determine the amount of costs to be paid at a later date.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Principal Inspector Richard Lockwood said:

“Before entrusting tasks to workers, principal contractors and site managers must ensure they are competent to do the task being given to them.

“There needs to be adequate control over scaffolding to ensure that it is and remains safe and fit for the purpose.

“Principal contractors must have robust systems that ensure that their policies and procedures are implemented properly on their sites.”

Justin’s father, Alan Gillman, added:

“Justin was a very hardworking chap who enjoyed working in construction.

“He was building his own home for him and his girlfriend and he loved stock car racing. He’d been into racing cars since he was about eight-years-old.

“He generally enjoyed life and never had a bad word to say about anyone.

“If something positive can come from this case, and Justin’s death, it’s that I just hope people will be prepared to say ‘no’ to their employer if they’re asked to do something they’re not trained to do, or it wouldn’t be safe for them to do.”

For more information about the Health and Safety Executive’s work with the construction industry, go to www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/industry/construction


Mother Redcaps Care Home Ltd fined £40k over legionella risk

A private care home in Wallasey has been order to pay £40,000 in fines and costs after it failed to manage the risk of elderly residents catching a potentially fatal form of pneumonia.

Mother Redcaps Care Home Ltd was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after it failed to comply with an Improvement Notice to assess the risk from the legionella bacteria.

Liverpool Crown Court was told today that the care home did not have a system in place for managing its hot and cold water. It was first served with an Improvement Notice requiring a risk assessment in November 2011, following a visit from a HSE inspector.

The company was given two extensions to a deadline to comply with the notice. However, it had still failed to carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment by May 2012, despite being offered help and guidance on what was required.

Without proper controls legionella bacteria can build up in water systems where the temperature is between 20 and 45 degrees Celsius, creating the risk that small droplets containing the bacteria could be breathed when water becomes airborne, such as in showers.

The court heard that up to 50 residents, as well as the nursing home’s employees, could have been put at risk of contracting Legionnaires’ disease if the bacteria had been present.

Mother Redcaps Care Home Ltd, of Greenside Gardens in Leyland, was fined £6,525 and ordered to pay £33,475 in costs after pleading guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Phil Redman said:

“While there is no evidence that residents or members of staff were exposed to legionella bacteria, there was a clear and inexcusable failure to properly assess and control the risk.

“Elderly people and those with poor health are particularly susceptible to Legionnaire’s disease so the company should have done more to assess and control the risks, making sure lives weren’t put in danger.

“We gave Mother Redcaps several opportunities to carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment after it received the Improvement Notice, but it failed to satisfy the requirements of the notice.

“This case should act as a warning to firms that they will find themselves in court if they ignore enforcement notices.”

Legionnaires’ disease is caused by bacteria found naturally in rivers, lakes and reservoirs, but which can multiply and become dangerous in some purpose-built water systems.

More information on Legionnaires’ disease is available at www.hse.gov.uk/legionnaires.

via Wallasey care home fined £40k over pneumonia risk.

Kidde Fire Protection Services Ltd, Kidde Products Ltd & Crown House Technologies Ltd fined after plumber dies from flying gas cylinder

Three South East firms have been ordered to pay a total of £685,787.31 in fines and costs for serious safety breaches after a plumber died and six other workers were seriously injured by a barrage of flying gas cylinders.

Adam Johnston, 38, from Sutton, Surrey, was struck by one of 66 heavy cylinders as they rocketed at speeds of up to 170 mph after one toppled over, discharged high-pressure gas, collided with others and set off a frightening chain reaction.

Mr Johnston, who was working on a construction project in Mundells in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, was walking with a colleague when he was struck by one of the argonite gas cylinders as they were propelled alarmingly around the building. He suffered multiple injuries and died at the scene.

Several other workers, including electricians working in the argonite store room, suffered injuries and long term effects resulting from the trauma of that day.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation into the incident, on 5 November 2008, found that Mr Johnston died as a result of a series of unsafe practices relating to the installation of fire suppression equipment at the new-build storage facility.

Crown House Technologies Ltd of Dartford, Kent, was principal contractor for the project and engaged Kidde Fire Protection Services Ltd, of Slough, Berkshire, to supply and install fire suppression equipment at the new facility under construction. This work was carried out by Kidde Products Ltd, also from Slough.

In a prosecution brought by the HSE against all three companies for safety breaches, St Albans Crown Court today (5 July 2013) heard that 80 cylinders, nearly two metres high and each weighing 142 kg, were stored without their safety-critical protection caps and left without being properly secured in racks.

Other trades involved in the construction project were also working next to these potentially unstable cylinders, unaware of the deadly risks involved.

HSE found that one or more of these cylinders was de-stabilised and probably fell over, causing its unprotected valve to shear off near the cylinder neck. This released an uncontrolled jet of liquified argonite gas under high pressure [equivalent to some 300 bar] the force of which caused the cylinder to move, colliding with others. These, in turn, were also knocked over and sustained similar damage.

A chain reaction developed rapidly and for several minutes shocked and terrified workers desperately sought shelter as they endured a barrage of heavy cylinders rocketing around them. This continued until 66 of the 80 cylinders had been discharged.

Some of the cylinders travelled at estimated speeds of up to 170mph and developed sufficient energy to penetrate walls and ceiling voids, travelling into more remote parts of the building.

Mr Johnston, a father of two, who was employed by Crown House Technologies Ltd, was struck by one of the cylinders as it was propelled from the room. Six other workers sustained injuries. The building itself was severely damaged.

Crown House Technologies Ltd pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to breaching Section 2 and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 was fined £117,000 and ordered to pay costs of £119,393.65

Kidde Fire Protection Services Ltd pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to breaching Regulations 6 and 13(2) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007and was fined £165,000 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £59,696.72.

Kidde Products Ltd, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to breaching Section 2 and Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £165,000 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £59,696.72.

The court was told that the three companies involved failed to recognise the significant risks involved in the project or to carry out an adequate risk assessment. The principal contractor and the main contractors failed to co-ordinate the scheduled work activities or to co-operate meaningfully in light of the risks. There had also been insufficient training and supervision.

After the case, HSE Principal Inspector Norman Macritchie, said:

“Mr Johnston had no control over the chain of events which led to his tragic death. He died while going about his business as a result of the shortcomings of others. It is only by chance that this incident did not cause further fatalities.

“There is little evidence that those involved were competent to undertake this work, or that safe systems of work were provided, or that there was suitable cooperation between the contractors involved.

“Employees of other companies were allowed to enter the argonite store while it was potentially unsafe to do so, and there is no evidence that anyone explained the risks to them, or acted effectively to control these risks.

“This incident was devastating for his family and yet it could have been avoided had there been effective planning, management, monitoring and coordination of the relevant activities.

“Health and safety is sometimes dismissed as an unnecessary burden on businesses but this tragic case clearly demonstrates its true importance to those at the ‘sharp end’ of the industry.”


Tewkesbury farmer sold milk from cattle with TB | This is Gloucestershire

A FARMER sold milk from cattle which had tested positive for TB because he refused to believe the cows had the disease. He now has to pay nearly £52,000 in fines and compensation.
Timothy Juckes sent four cows without the disease to the slaughterhouse instead of the infected animals, Gloucester Crown Court heard yesterday.

via Tewkesbury farmer sold milk from cattle with TB | This is Gloucestershire.

Network Rail fined half a million pounds for Suffolk level crossing collision

Network Rail has been fined £500,000 and ordered to pay costs of £23,421 following a prosecution brought by the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) for a breach of health and safety law which led to a 10 year oTrain Car on Tracksld boy suffering serious injuries at a level crossing on a private road near Beccles, Suffolk, in 2010.

Today’s sentencing at Ipswich Crown Court follows an ORR investigation into a train and car collision on 3 July 2010 at a level crossing between Beccles station and Oulton Broads South station in Suffolk. The train was travelling at 55mph when it struck the car, causing it to spin and throw the passenger, a 10 year old boy, through a window. The collision caused the passenger to suffer life-changing injuries while the driver of the car received minor injuries.

ORR’s investigation found that the accident was caused by poor visibility of trains when approaching the crossing from the south side. ORR found Network Rail failed to act on information obtained from its own employees over a ten-year period which highlighted that users of the crossing were exposed to an increased risk of being struck by a train. Network Rail pleaded guilty to the charge on 13 March 2013, at Lowestoft Crown Court.

ORR’s Director of Railway Safety, Ian Prosser, said:

via Network Rail fined half a million pounds for Suffolk level crossing collision.

A site supervisor – Paul Joseph Burke- has been fined after a co-worker was left paralysed after falling ten metres

A site supervisor has been fined after a co-worker was left paralysed after falling ten metres from the roof of a Tyneside warehouse.

Temporary employee Phillip Giles fell from an unprotected and fragile roof after supervisor Paul Burke allowed workers, who were removing cement sheets, to go onto the roof, ignoring his company’s safety policy.

Mr Giles, 24, from South Shields, suffered multiple injuries and has been left paralysed from the neck down as a result of the fall.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) today (14 June 2013) prosecuted site supervisor Paul Burke, of Brighouse, West Yorkshire after an investigation into the incident at the Drum Industrial Estate in Birtley, on 5 September 2011.

Durham Crown Court heard Mr Giles and colleagues were removing roof sheets by gaining access from below via a scissor lift. HSE found that when this became difficult, Mr Burke allowed the workers to go onto the roof itself but without the knowledge of his contracts manager as was required.

At one stage Mr Giles got onto the roof to strip off more sheets, but trod on a loose skylight panel that gave way under him. He fell around 10 metres to the ground below.

The court was told Mr Burke’s employer, which had a contract to remove asbestos cement roofs from a number of warehouses at the site, had identified them as fragile. The company had agreed a system of work where its employees used scissor lifts, removing the roof sheets from the underside.

Mr Burke supervised the work on site, but when they encountered problems in the work he did not bring these to the attention of the contracts manager as required by the company procedure. Instead he permitted a change to the system of work, whereby he and other employees went onto the roof itself to carry out some of the work.

The HSE found the company’s agreed system was safe but by changing it, Mr Burke had sanctioned an unsafe system of work. The company was unaware of the changed way of working and Mr Burke had failed to consult with them.

Paul Joseph Burke, 56, of Lightcliffe Road, Brighouse, West Yorkshire, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to breaching Regulation 4(1)(b) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 between 4 August and 5 September 2011 by failing to properly supervise work at height and make sure it was carried out safely. He was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £9,765.88 costs.

Speaking after the case Mr Giles said:

“I welcome the fact that the HSE has taken this action and I hope that this means what happened to me won’t happen to anyone else.”

HSE Inspector Keith Partington added:

“This incident has had a devastating and life-changing impact on Mr Giles and his family.

“Mr Burke allowed some of the work to be undertaken on the roof without any measures in place to guard against falls and injury. He was not authorised to make changes of this nature and also failed to discuss the changes with his employer.

“Those who supervise work at height have a responsibility to ensure that it is carried out in a manner which is safe and which guards against the risk of injury from a fall. Such injuries, if not fatal, may result in a lifelong disability for the injured person.”

For more information about working at height safely log onto the website at:


£15,000 fine for Silvercliffs chlorine leak – – Ballymoney and Moyle Times

�15,000 fine for Silvercliffs chlorine leak – Local – Ballymoney and Moyle Times: IN a prosecution brought by Moyle District Council, Hagans Leisure Ltd has been ordered to pay a total of �15,000 after health and safety failings led to members of the public being exposed to a release of chlorine gas.

The incident happened at the Silvercliffs Holiday Village in Ballycastle which is owned by Hagans Leisure Ltd of Templepatrick.At Antrim Crown Court on January 18, Sam Hagan, Director of Hagans Leisure Ltd pleaded guilty to the charge of failing to ensure the public’s safety contrary to Article 5 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work (Northern Ireland) Order 1978.Inadequate risk assessments, deficiencies in staff training and poorly maintained equipment led to a chlorine gas leak at Silvercliffs Holiday Village, on the 27th June 2009.

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Takeaway boss who deep fried his utensils instead of cleaning them leading to E-coli outbreak is jailed | Mail Online

A takeaway boss who gave nine people E-coli by deep frying cooking utensils instead of cleaning them has been jailed today.

All nine people had to be treated in hospital after the outbreak of E-coli in August 2011 which was traced back to Diar Wali Ali’s ‘dirty’ Cardiff kebab shop.

Newport Crown Court heard that staff at the Adonis Kebab House, in Roath, also washed their hands in the same sink that food was being prepared in.

 Takeaway boss who deep fried his utensils instead of cleaning them leading to E-coli outbreak is jailed | Mail Online 

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Health and safety charges for farmer | This is Cornwall

Health and safety charges for farmer | This is Cornwall:

A FARMER and his wife have appeared in court charged with flouting health and safety laws.
Philip and Linda Medland stood side-by-side in the dock at Truro Crown Court on Friday.
During a brief hearing the couple spoke only to confirm their names and to enter not guilty pleas to two counts each in a prosecution brought by the Health and Safety Executive.
The couple are partners of F Medland and Son, Langstone Farm, Coads Green, Launceston.

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