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June 10, 2014

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Almost £100,000 in fines and costs for flower farm following tractor death

PS and JE Ward Ltd, the flower farm in Norfolk found not guilty of corporate manslaughter in April of this year, now faces fines and costs of almost £100,000 for failing to ensure the safety of a worker who was electrocuted in November 2012.
Grzegorz Pieton, 26, died when his tractor hit 11,000 volt overhead cables at Belmont Nursery, Terrington St Clement, Norfolk, on 15 July 2010.The company was charged with corporate manslaughter in November 2012, but was later cleared. 
However, Judge Stephen Holt said: “nevertheless a crime had been committed”.
He added: “No-one knows why Mr Pieton ventured into the area he did and he was an experienced tractor driver.”
The court case had established the responsibility of the company for its employees under the Health and Safety at Work Act, he said. Stating that while Mr Pieton may have acted on his own initiative, this did not diminish its responsibility. 
PS and JE Ward Ltd was therefore fined £50,000 with costs of £47,932.
In an earlier statement the company said “Everyone at Belmont Nursery remains profoundly saddened by the death of Mr Pieton, and his family have been, and are constantly, in our thoughts.”

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