December 13 2013 Latest news:
Friday, October 18, 2013
The operators of London Luton Aiport have been fined for health and safety breaches after a 78-year old Norfolk woman died after being hit on a zebra crossing at the terminal.
Mary Whiting, of Windsor Chase, Taverham, near Norwich, was returning from a holiday with her family when she was struck by a lorry delivering milk to the airport on May 12, 2009.
She had been following her great-granddaughter Samantha Green over the crossing when the crash happened.
The lorry driver, 50-year-old Rossano Casagrande was charged with causing death by careless driving, but he was cleared by a jury at Luton Crown Court in 2010.
During his trial the layout of a service road and the crossing were criticised and have since been altered.
London Luton Airport Operations Ltd, (LLAOL) and a company they consulted on the original plans, C-T Aviation Solutions Ltd, were investigated by the Health and Safety Executive.
They were prosecuted and both found guilty after a six-week trial of failing to ensure the safety of people using the airport and contravening health and safety regulations.
LLAOL were also convicted of contravening an improvement notice.
Yesterday at Luton Crown Court LLAOL was fined £75,000 with £197,595 costs which must be paid within 28 days.
C-T Aviation were fined £70,000 with £30,000 but have been given five years to pay.
The two companies were not charged with an offence specifically relating to the death of Mrs Whiting.
The zebra crossing did not have to conform to regulations for crossings on normal roads, as it was on private land. Passengers used it to reach cars parks and drop off points, and the road was used for access and deliveries.
The layout had been altered during a £1.9 million revamp which was completed in March 2009.
Judge Philip Bartle QC said: “In my view there was a foreseeable risk of injury or death to pedestrians, and the seriousness is that LLAOL exposed 8 - 9 million visitors a year to that risk.
“In this case Mrs Whiting was on a sub standard crossing on the access road and without any fault by her she was killed.”