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Bath tipper truck crash sentences ‘unduly lenient’ says Brake

Road safety charity Brake has condemned last Friday’s sentencing of a haulage boss and mechanic for the Bath tipper truck tragedy, saying the sentences are “unduly lenient”.

Gavel at court
Although Brake said the Bath tipper truck sentences were “unduly lenient”, RoSPA said it hoped they would make more companies redress their duty of care.

Matthew Gordon, 30, and Peter Wood, 55, were sentenced at Bristol Crown Court to seven years, six months and five years, three months, respectively, for the manslaughter of Mitzi Steady, 4, Stephen Vaughan, 34, Philip Allen, 52 and Robert Parker, 59. 

Gordon and Wood had previously been found guilty of four counts of manslaughter after the runaway tipper truck, which had faulty brakes, killed four people and injured two others on Lansdown Lane, Weston. Wood had allegedly inspected the truck three weeks before the incident.

Phillip Potter, 20, the driver of the truck, was cleared of dangerous and careless driving.

Commenting on the sentences, Gary Rae, campaigns director for Brake, the road safety charity, said: “Our thoughts are with all four families on what must have been yet another milestone, as they attempt to come to terms with life without their loved ones. This was a wholly preventable tragedy –  rogue operator running a lorry that was riddled with lethal faults. Their casual disregard for safety led to four deaths. The sentences passed are unduly lenient for the crimes committed.” 

RoSPA also commented on the tipper truck crash sentences, saying: “This awful case shows the devastation that can occur when organisations do not meet their duty of care. Four lives were cut short, and many more have been changed forever.

“The court, in delivering guilty verdicts and subsequent jail sentences, has recognised this fact, and we hope this will prompt other organisations to now review their own systems.”

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Written by Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.

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