No pleas entered in Suffolk industrial accident court case

Bury Free Press front page from January 28, 2011
Bury Free Press front page from January 28, 2011

Three firms and a company director have appeared in court charged with health and safety breaches in relation to the death of four men in 2011.

Daniel Hazelton, 30, his brother Thomas Hazelton, 26, Peter Johnson, 42, who all lived in Stanton, and Adam Taylor, 28, of Rickinghall, were killed on January 21, 2011, when a large steel cage they were working in collapsed.

Claxton Engineering Services Ltd, Hazegood Construction Ltd, Encompass Project Management Ltd and its company director David Groucott appeared at Great Yarmouth Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

Pascal Bates, prosecuting, said though it was within the magistrates’ power to deal with the case, he believed it should be sent to a higher court because it involved four deaths.

District judge Peter Veits agreed and said: “It is unfortunately an obvious matter that needs to be dealt with in the crown court based on the fact that there four deaths involved in this incident in 2011.

“The guidelines make it very clear that this should be dealt with in the crown court.”

Claxton Engineering Services Ltd, of Norfolk, and Encompass Project Management Ltd, of The Gables, Thetford, have been charged under Section Three of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HSWA).

David Groucott, director of Encompass Project Management Ltd, has been charged under Section 37 of the HSWA and Hazegood Construction Ltd, of Bury Road, Stowmarket, has been charged under Sections Two and Three of the HSWA.

None of the defendants entered an indication of plea and are all due to appear at Norwich Crown Court on March 1.

Groucott was released on unconditional bail until then.

In 2013 the CPS decided not to pursue criminal charges of manslaughter against any parties.

An inquest in 2014 ruled the four deaths an accident.