Pirate FM News

Keep up to date with the latest news delivered direct to your Inbox.

M5 Crash: Fireworks Organiser Acquitted

m5 crash
Delicious Submit this page to reddit

5:31am 11th December 2013
(Updated 5:31am 11th December 2013)

The organiser of a fireworks display has been cleared of breaching health and safety laws after the death of a Gunnislake dad in a motorway pile up.

Kye Thomas was among seven people who lost their lives on the M5 back in 2011.

Mr Thomas was not the only person with a connection to the Duchy.

He was a driver for the company that owns Ginsters and lost his life along with colleague Terry Brice in the 34 vehicle pile-up.

Michael Barton and daughter Maggie were on their way home from a funeral in Penzance.

A judge at Bristol Crown Court ordered the jury to find 51 year old Geoffrey Counsell from Ashill not guilty.

Geoffrey Counsell, 51, said he believed the decision to prosecute him was "motivated by a desire to find someone to blame for this terrible accident, simply for the sake of doing so".

Speaking outside Bristol Crown Court, Mr Counsell expressed his sympathy to all those affected by the "terrible crash" on the M5 on November 4, 2011.

"I have been through an appalling experience over the last two years, yet I recognise that my misfortune is as nothing compared with that of those bereaved and injured as a result of that accident," he said.

A judge directed the jury to find Mr Counsell not guilty of a single charge of failing to ensure the safety of others contrary to the Health and Safety at Work Act.

The charge alleged that Mr Counsell, of Ashill in Somerset, failed to ensure he operated the firework display so as to ensure, as far as was reasonably practicable, that others who might be affected were not exposed to risks to their health and safety.

Mr Counsell was originally charged with seven counts of manslaughter, but they were dropped earlier this year and instead he faced the health and safety charge.

Seven people died in a massive motorway pile-up involving more than 30 cars when they were engulfed in a thick fog on a section of the M5 near Taunton.

Mr Justice Simon ruled that Mr Counsell had "no case to answer" following an application from the defendant's barrister made at the halfway point in the trial.

The judge said the prosecution's case was based on "hindsight" and there was not sufficient evidence to show that Mr Counsell ought to have foreseen that smoke from the display, could have drifted and mixed with fog to create thick smog.

5:31am 11th December 2013

Share This Story

Delicious Submit this page to reddit
Suggested articles
smiler rollercoaster

Cornishwoman Runs For Money After Friend Loses Leg In Rollercoaster Crash

Caroline was inspired by her friend's courage to do something positive


Two People Treated By Paramedics After Crash

The car ended up on a steep verge with people stuck inside

Most read
police tape

UPDATE: 'Severed' Foot Found Near Truro

A dog walker made the grim discovery in woods

poldark aidan turner eleanor tomlinson

WATCH: Why Poldark's Sparked Outrage

It was an eventful episode on Sunday...

Top articles

UPDATE: Further Remains Found In Truro Woods After Discovery Of Human Foot

Cornwall News: Police are now searching the stream bed in Nansavallan Woods

Pirate FM Cornwall News Update - 7th January 2016

Cornwall Video News: Officials say they’re holding talks to find new jobs for hundreds of workers in Bodmin.

Zac Goldsmith resigns as MP over Heathrow runway decision

National News: Tory backbencher Zac Goldsmith has resigned as an MP in protest at the Heathrow runway decision, which he called "catastrophic".

Business Cornwall News - Friday, 18th December 2015

Business Cornwall News: Cornwall is spearheading reform of the Uk’s business licensing laws following a a year-long project.

Jay Z shows support for Clinton with pre-election concert

Showbiz News: Jay Z will hold a free concert in Cleveland to encourage people to vote for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

US judge approves $15bn VW emissions scandal settlement

World News: A US court has approved Volkswagen's $15bn (£12.3bn) settlement package for almost half a million customers in America over the diesel emissions scandal.

Mourinho urged to make football, not war

Sports News: Barcelona great Xavi says Jose Mourinho needs to tone down his confrontational stance if Manchester United are to succeed.

Ranger dines out after finding giant 10kg mushroom in Falkirk

Strange News: A giant puffball mushroom with a 1.5-metre circumference and weight of more than 10kg has been found - and quickly eaten - by a countryside ranger and her colleagues.

Newer article

Schoolgirl Approached in Looe

Cornwall News: Police hunt a man who approached 10 year old girl

Older article

Unexplained Death in Truro

Cornwall News: Police investigating after man's body discovered

Cornwall's Pirate FMPirate 2Pirate Oldies on DAB Digital RadioEscape to Cornwall radioLoveCornwall.com - The Cornish Business DirectoryPirate Education and Training


© Copyright Pirate FM

Pirate FM cannot be held responsible for the content of external links.


We Use Cookies

This website uses cookies to store information on your computer.

By using this website you accept the use of cookies as explained in the terms of our cookie policy.