J E Dale Farmers Limited has today (Friday) pleaded guilty to health and safety breaches at Grimsby Crown Court, following the death of a motorist.
The Market Rasen area company pleaded guilty to offences under section 3 of the Health and Safety At Work Act 1974 (HSWA), and were fined £45,000 plus £30,000 in costs.
The charges relate to an incident in Howsham in August 2013, when a tractor operated by J E Dale was in collision with a Volvo car driven by Mr James Thompson.
The tractor was towing a partly manufactured seed drill, and at the time of the incident the seed drill had no functional hydraulics or safety equipment to ensure safe transportation on the highway.
Following the court hearing, Catherine Ainsworth, from the CPS said: “This was a tragic case in which Mr Thompson needlessly lost his life. Traumatically the incident was witnessed and experienced by his wife, a passenger in the vehicle. Our thoughts remain with Mrs Thompson and her family, as they have been throughout.
“The sentence handed down today emphasises the fundamental importance of observing health and safety measures in the workplace. This dreadful incident illustrates the fact that failing to have or neglecting to follow the correct procedures can result in the most tragic consequences. The Thompson family will live with those consequences forever.”
Following the trial, Mr Thompson’s family released the following statement:
“Jim had been married to Margaret for 49 years; he was a loving dad to son James of Osgodby and a treasured grandad to Emily and James. Jim was born is Seaham, County Durham on the April 6, 1931, and was the eldest of nine children.
“Jim joined the Coldstream Guards in 1952 and served in HM Forces for three years prior to moving to the Scunthorpe in 1961 to work for British Steel, where he worked until his retirement in 1991. Jim was a keen gardener and an active member of the local bowling community.
“The death of my Jim has had a profound and long term effect on the whole family.
“Over the past four years since the accident the grieving process has been largely put on hold whilst we have fought to uncover the truth about the collision, struggled to understand why it happened, and sought to ensure that no other family should suffer in the manner our family has suffered.
“We sincerely hope that lessons can be learned by this case. Jim died on August 16, 2013, needlessly and his death was entirely avoidable.
“That fact will live with us forever. No price can ever be placed on a loss of life.”
The family added: “We would like to thank the legal team involved in this case, Mr Pitter QC, CPS, Humberside Police and Nina Day at HSE who have all worked so terribly hard on this case and we are humbled by their determination and professionalism throughout.
“We would personally like to thank the family liaison officers from Humberside Police. Claire Hall and Jo Hardy (retired) have been by our side since the day of the crash, supporting the whole family.
“We are so grateful for their kindness, care and support throughout this long and traumatic process.”