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court ref no: CO/3693/95 ...
court ref no: CO/3693/95

The manager of Worcester's Do-It-All store was rightly convicted of a health and safety offence after a 73-year-old man was run down and killed by a reversing lorry while making his way across the store's car park, London's high court ruled.

Gary Amos had challenged his conviction by Droitwich magistrates on 7 July this year of an offence under Section 33 of the 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act.

But Lord Justice Beldam, sitting with Mrs Justice Smith, told the high court: 'In my judgement the justices came to the right determination in this case and Mr Amos was rightly convicted of this offence'.

Worcester City Council had prosecuted Mr Amos after the death of pensioner Burns Campbell Taylor on November 2 1993 outside the Do-It-All store in Cromwell Street.

Lord Justice Beldam said Mr Taylor had been walking from the car park to the store's entrance when he was run down by a delivery vehicle reversing towards the unloading bay.

Mr Taylor suffered from cataracts, was partially sighted, and hard of hearing, he added.

'Although no-one actually witnessed the accident it seems clear that as he was crossing the 6.5 metre-wide section of the roadway from the car park towards the store, the van ran him down as he was approaching the entrance to the store.'

The magistrates found that Mr Amos had 'complied with all the requirements of his employers', but had failed to take sufficiently urgent steps to avert the hazard presented by lorries reversing near the store.

The court heard Mr Amos had 'become aware' of the potential hazard as far back as September 1993 and had 'set in train the company procedures for devising a long-term solution'.

But he had taken no substantial steps 'as a matter of urgency' to guard against such an accident.

Lord Justice Beldam said: 'This was an obvious danger, and it is just these dangers which an active site manager is expected to identify and take steps to alleviate'.

Mr Amos - who was fined £250 by the magistrates and ordered to pay £250 costs - had his appeal against conviction dismissed.

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