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Council admits health and safety breaches

A council has admitted breaking health and safety laws after a man was killed by a falling tree on a popular trail.

Fifty-eight-year-old Neville Scattergood died after being hit by the tree on the Isabel Trail, off Eccleshall Road, in Stafford, on 3 October 2019.

Staffordshire County Council has now pleaded guilty to failing to discharge general health/safety duty to a person other than an employee, after being prosecuted by the HSE.

The authority entered a guilty plea during a brief hearing at North Staffordshire Justice Centre last week.

Sentencing has been adjourned to 22 December, with all options being left open to District Judge Kevin Grego, including committal to crown court.

The charge states that between 1 January 2009 and 3 October 2019, at the Isabel Trail, Stafford, the county council, as an employer, ‘failed to conduct your undertaking in such a way to ensure, so far as was reasonably practicable, that persons not in your employment who may have been affected thereby, were not exposed to risks to their health and safety.’

Following the hearing, county council leader Alan White said: “We have been very open and co-operated fully with the HSE throughout this inquiry. We cannot speak on the matter further at this stage.”

StokeonTrentLive October 2021


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