Head Of Training, The Healthy Work Company

October 22, 2014

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No criminal charges over nightclub crush deaths

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has said that there is no evidence of gross negligence in the case of two women, who died after being crushed at Lava & Ignite nightclub, Northampton in October 2011.

Nabila Nanfuka, 22, died at the time of the crush and Laurene-Danielle Jackson, 19, died 18 days later in Leicester Glenfield Hospital. Both women were from northwest London.

Miss Nanfuka and Miss Jackson were attending the Wickedest Wickedest event, with about 1,500 people.

Witnesses said that a ‘stampeded’ broke out among club-goers following an announcement that coaches were leaving to take them home. In addition to the two fatalities two further people were seriously injured.

Following an investigation by Northamptonshire Police and health and safety investigators from Northampton Borough Council, the CPS was asked to consider offences of gross negligence manslaughter against the club’s general manager and head of security.

However, the Crown said there was “no realistic prospect” of conviction following the “tragedy”. This was due to “insufficient evidence”, said a spokesman.

Dan Jones, of the CPS Special Crime Division, said: “The prosecution cannot prove that he [the club’s general manager] foresaw, or should have foreseen, in advance of the crush developing, that there was an obvious and serious risk of death from overcrowding on the cloakroom landing and the stairs.

“There is no evidence of any previous issues with overcrowding at this location in the club.

“Nor is there sufficient evidence to show that the manager deliberately disregarded people’s safety; as soon as the crush began to develop he took steps to try and stop it.”

The CPS also found “there was no evidence of gross negligence on the part of the head of security”.

David Mackintosh, leader of the council, said it was “crucial” lessons were learned from the investigation “so that it is prevented from happening again”. The council will decide if action should be taken under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

The club closed permanently after the incident when operator Luminar went into administration.

 

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