Electricity giant to be handed big fine for Norfolk death today

A major utilities company is set to receive a heavy six-figure fine for failings which led to the electrocution and death of a worker in Diss in 2007.

UK Power Networks is being prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive for accused failings which led to the death of Jonathan Crosby, a 45-year-old father-of-four from Dickleburgh.

The electricity giant, which handles electricity supply for the south and east of England as well as London, was expected to be sentenced at Norwich Crown Court yesterday but legal wrangles over the size of the fine and the exact charges which they admit saw the case adjourned until this morning.

A jury at a coroner's inquest in Norwich returned a verdict of accidental death in April 2010 but the Health and Safety Executive decided to take proceedings against Mr Crosby's employer of 26 years – bringing the case under Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act.

Judge Peter Jacobs was reminded of the circumstances that led to Mr Crosby being electrocuted while working on power lines on Sawmills Road, Diss, on the morning of November 9, 2007.

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The court was told that a failure to remove vital fuses and to use warning signs broke company policy on the day in question when removing a transformer from a pole to replace it with a more powerful model while on a platform atop a crane to remove the half-tonne box from five and a half metres up.

These failings meant that several wires thought to be safe to touch were actually live and carrying 430 volts, leading to Mr Crosby's electrocution.

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Judge Jacobs is expected to bring the case to a close this morning when he sets the fine for which UK Power Networks is liable, which he hinted at the end of proceedings last night could be in the region of �300,000.


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