Supermarket hit with £130k fine over horror crash


Supermarket hit with £130k fine over horror crash

A supermarket has been fined £130,000 for breaching health and safety law after a woman lost her leg in a horrific accident in its car park.

Patricia Cox, 62, had to have her left leg amputated and was left with severe injuries to her other leg and arm after the incident at the Jempson's store in January 2013.

She was walking across the car park of the shop in Main Street, Peasmarsh, near Rye, when she was struck by an 18-tonne delivery lorry which was trying to reverse into the store's delivery yard.

In a hearing at Lewes Crown Court today (FRI 10), Jempson's Ltd was also ordered to pay costs to the council, with the amount to be determined at a later date.

The firm had previously been convicted by a jury after denying breaching section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act, following a prosecution by Rother District Council.

Cllr Ian Hollidge, Rother District Council cabinet member for environment, transport and public realm, said: "This sentence should send out a clear message to companies and organisations of the importance of doing everything possible to protect the public.

"What became clear during the trial was that the manoeuvre carried out by this lorry was something which was allowed to occur regularly, and the store failed to do enough to reduce the risk of an accident like this occurring.

"This incident had a severe impact on Mrs Cox and she will have to live with the injuries she sustained for the rest of her life.

"I hope she will gain some comfort from this successful prosecution, and that it will raise awareness of the fact that adhering to health and safety law is vital to ensure the public is protected."

The jury in the trial which preceded sentencing heard evidence from logistics firms who said the supermarket's delivery yard was cluttered and the access road to it narrowed by cars parked on double yellow lines, meaning lorries had to reverse into the yard.

The court heard that Jempson's, part of a group of companies which owns eight shops and cafes across the Rother area, knew about the risk posed by lorries reversing in the busy pedestrian area by the entrance to the Peasmarsh store, but failed to implement reasonably practicable measures to reduce the risk of an accident.

Published on Friday, July 10, 2015

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