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LANDOWNER JAILED FOR IGNORING SAFETY ISSUES

Crown court hands down nine months imprisonment sentence for serious risk     

Landowner, Nicholas Andrew Eastwood, has been jailed for nine months after ignoring safety issues at a car park in St Ives, Cornwall.

Truro Crown Court heard that HSE visited the car park following a complaint from the public in February 2008. Inspectors found land being used as a car park near the edge of a valley slope with a steep 30m drop to houses below.

Enforcement notices were issued prohibiting access by pedestrian and vehicle access within 5m of the edge and requiring suitable protection from falls.

On 6 August 2009 emergency services were called to the site because a car was hanging over the edge of the slope. Householders living below the site were evacuated and the car was removed.

Very real risk of car going over edge

Nicholas Andrew Eastwood of The Burrows, St Ives, pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 3 (2) and 33(1)(g) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. He given a custodial sentence of nine months for breaching Section 33(1)(g).

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Barry Trudgian said:

“As the incident in August 2009 showed, there was a very real risk of a car going over the edge of Mr Eastwood’s land which could have had very serious consequences, not only for the driver but also for residents and members of the public passing below.

By simply installing a barrier, as he was requested to do, he would have significantly reduced this risk. Employers who ignore these notices, and continue to put people at risk, should expect to be prosecuted.”

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