Union anger at reduced fine for Hatfield firm

05 July 2006

Keith Norman, the general secretary of train drivers union ASLEF said that there was ‘no justice’ in today’s decision by the Court of Appeal to reduce by a quarter the £10 million fine imposed on Balfour Beatty for its culpability in the October 2000 Hatfield rail crash.

 

‘How are the families of the four people who died or the 102 people injured supposed to feel about this decision?’ Keith demanded. ‘Many of these people will both physically and mentally carry scars for their entire lives.

 

‘In a more progressive country Balfour Beatty would have lost their licence to operate. The reduction in the fine is a poor reflection on our legal system when the price of human life is dealt with in this way. At ASLEF our thoughts today are with the families of the bereaved and injured who must feel grossly insulted by this decision.’

 

The company had admitted breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act – but argued that it should have its fine reduced because it pleaded guilty.

 

‘They pleaded guilty because everyone knew they were guilty,’ Keith said. ‘This was nothing moral or ethical about their admission: they were caught and deserve to pay for their crime.’

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