Month: July 2016

Man Seriously Injured in Accident at Work

Image of men working on high scaffolding relating to accident at work incident

A construction company in Northumberland has been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following an accident at work incident, in which a joiner sustained serious injuries in a four meter fall.

Incident

At the time of the incident, the joiner was working for principle contractor, Oakland Homes (North East) Limited at a new development in Whalton, Northumberland. The joiner fell backwards over the edge of the scaffolding as he was carrying out unplanned work to fit a weather vane to a roof. He suffered a large cut to the back of his head and a fractured vertebra after falling onto the uneven ground below.

HSE Investigation

An investigation by the HSE found that on the day of the incident, 4 August 2015, the construction company had failed to ‘plan, manage and monitor the installation of the weather vane’.

Northumberland Magistrates’ Court heard that untrained workers had altered scaffolding on the site, resulting in inadequate edge protection.

Sentencing

After pleading guilty to breaching Regulations 13(1) the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015, Oakland Homes (North East) Limited of Hillside West, Rothbury, Northumberland was fined £50,000. The company was also ordered to pay costs of £800.

Accident at Work – Expert Advice

We are personal injury claims experts – our specialist accident claims solicitors are here to provide you with on-going valuable support.

If you have been injured in the workplace and you would like expert advice on this type of case, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6 888 or email claims@hampsonhughes.com for a FREE initial consultation.

Source: Health & Safety Executive

Two Men Charged with Revenge Porn

A 24 year old man has been charged with revenge porn after he sent a private video of his ex-girlfriend to a former partner of hers, who was also charged with the offence.

Video Clip

Aidan Farrelley sent a 30 second long clip, in which Joanna Trayte is performing a sex act, to 34 year old Christopher Green via Whatsapp. Mr Farrelly reportedly sent the clip after the emotional breakdown of his relationship with Ms Trayte.

Mr Green, a former partner of Ms Trayte and with whom she shares a child, then tried to contact Ms Trayte to warn her of the video. Ms Trayte failed to respond and, fearing that their child would be ‘ostracised’, Mr Green sent the video to a friend of the victims to show her.

However, despite alerting police that he had received the video in a bid to get it removed or deleted, Mr Green was taken to court and charged with distributing revenge porn along with Mr Farrelley.

Sentencing

Martin Lewis, prosecuting, told the court Mr Farrelley had confessed he ‘had done this out of revenge, because he thought she had been going out with Mr Green’.

Mr Farrelley, of Hatfield, Hertfordshire, pleaded guilty to one count of distributing private sexual pictures and/or film with intent to cause distress. He was sentenced to two months, suspended for 12 months and ordered to carry out 100 hours unpaid work. Mr Farrelley was also ordered to pay £250 in costs.

Sentencing Mr Farrelley at Harrow Crown Court, Judge Martyn Barklem said:

“Mr Farrelley you decided to publish this video, an intimate video you had, out of spite and desire for revenge and that is something that is regarded as very serious.

“It is a relatively new offence, but with the fact is once these videos are in the public arena, it seems like a Pandora’s Box never to be closed again, and they stay online forever.

“I accept you may not have intended or wanted it to be so widely published.”

Mr Farrelley also faced one count of harassment, but this was withdrawn by the prosecution.

‘Could have warned her in another way’

Speaking for Green’s defence, Louise Thomas said:

“In relation to the offence he was made aware that Mr Farrelley had posted a video of the complainant.

“He was upset about this and was worried about the effect it would have on his son which he has with the complainant.

“He didn’t want his son to be ostracised and tried to warn the complainant about the video. He messaged her and she didn’t reply.

“He decided to send the video to a friend of hers, so she could show her the video and he called the police.

“He accepts he could have warned her in another way, and he is very remorseful.”

Mr Green also pleaded guilty to one count of distributing private sexual pictures and/or film with intent to cause distress. He was given a conditional discharge and ordered to pay £250 in costs.

‘Trying to protect our son’

Sentencing Mr Green, the judge told him:

“It seems to me that having read through the documents and witness statements in this case that although what you did was foolish in sending the video, you genuinely did so out of concern for the child you share with the complainant.”

Speaking after the hearing, Mr Green said:

“I was trying to protect our son. That was the only thing I wanted to do. I was trying to help her, we have got a child together and that’s the reason why.

“I didn’t think warning her or warning her through her mate was breaking the law in any form.”

Sexual abuse claims – expert advice

Hampson Hughes Solicitors specialises in directing sexual abuse claims in a considerate and compassionate manner. Our Abuse & Criminal Injuries Department is headed by Greg Neill – Greg is a member of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers (ACAL).

For an open and friendly conversation about your situation, and to find out how we can assist you relevant to your individual experience, call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hh-law.co.uk

You will be given the direct-dial of your case handler, meaning that you will always be able to reach the person you need.

Source: Mail Online

Briton Sentenced to 15 years for Multiple Rapes

Image of Melbourne waterfront at night

A British man has been jailed for at least 11 years for the rapes of three women in Australia in the 1980s.

Cold cases

Colin Henderson raped the women in their Melbourne homes between 1981 and 1984, after answering their adverts for a housemate.

Detectives in Victoria, Australia reopened a number of cold cases after improvements in DNA technology linked Henderson to wine glasses in his victim’s homes.

On two occasions Henderson brought bottles of wine with him, under the guise of trying to ‘get to know a potential housemate’. But when one woman rebuffed his advances, he held a knife to her throat and raped her. He attacked another victim after asking to sleep in front of the fire because he was ‘too drunk to drive home’. A third victim was raped by Henderson whilst her three year old son slept in the other room.

The court heard how Henderson was married and had three young children at the time of the attacks.

Arrest & Extradition

Henderson reportedly left Australia in the mid-1990s and was living in England at the time of his arrest in 2014. The Scottish born man, now 65, was extradited from Britain last year and was due to be sentenced early in 2016 but he was too ill to attend court at the time. He later underwent emergency surgery for an abdominal aortic aneurysm while in custody.

Sentencing

Henderson pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated rape, one count of indecent rape, and four separate counts of aggravated rape.

Sentencing Henderson to 15 years in prison, with 11 years of non-parole, Victorian county court judge Paul Lacava said:

“Your conduct towards each of the three victims was reprehensible, predatory and planned.”

“This kind of offending was every woman’s worst nightmare.”

Sexual abuse claims – expert advice

Hampson Hughes Solicitors specialises in directing sexual abuse claims in a considerate and compassionate manner. Our Abuse & Criminal Injuries Department is headed by Greg Neill – Greg is a member of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers (ACAL).

For an open and friendly conversation about your situation, and to find out how we can assist you relevant to your individual experience, call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hh-law.co.uk

You will be given the direct-dial of your case handler, meaning that you will always be able to reach the person you need.

Source: The Guardian

Construction Firm Fined by the Health & Safety Executive

A construction company has been fined by the Health and Safety Executive after a worker sustained crush injuries when he was struck by an excavator.

Incident

Complete Demolition Ltd had been contracted to demolish a school in Ellesmere Port when the incident occurred. During the clearing of the site at Stanney Lane, an employee of Complete Demolition Ltd was operating a skip wagon – attempting to reverse the vehicle into a spot to park. However, the excavator that was moving out of the way in order to let the wagon park up struck another worker who was standing close by. The impact knocked the employee to the ground and the excavator’s tracks ran over his foot.

The 45 year old worker suffered crush injuries to his left foot, leaving him in constant pain. Liverpool Crown Court heard how numerous surgeries were required to rebuild the foot and that he has been unable to work since the incident occurred in November 2013.

HSE Investigation

An investigation into the incident by the HSE found that there was ‘insufficient control of workers on the site’. The investigation also found that the measures taken to ensure vehicles and pedestrians were separated were poor.
After pleading guilty to breaches of Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and Regulation 13(2) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007.

Speaking after the hearing HSE Inspector Deborah Walker said:

“This was an entirely foreseeable incident which could have been avoided. The company failed to properly plan for the duration of the works putting pedestrians at risk.”

Injury at Work – Expert Advice

We are personal injury claims experts – our specialist accident claims solicitors are here to provide you with on-going valuable support.

If you have been injured in the workplace and you would like expert advice on this type of case, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6 888 or email claims@hampsonhughes.com for a FREE initial consultation.

Source: Health & Safety Executive

Man Set on Fire in Stockton-On-Tees

Image of naked flames with black background

A man in his 20s was set on fire by a group men this week in Stockton-On-Tees.

Incident

The incident, which police are classing as a homophobic hate crime, occurred whilst the victim was walking through the grounds of a church. A group of four men approached the 20 year old and asked him questions about his sexuality.

He ignored the group and continued on his journey, however one of the men approached him from behind. The offender proceeded to spray aerosol on the back of the victim’s legs and then set him alight.

The victim was treated for serious burns, which required skin grafts, at North Tees University hospital, according to police.

The incident occurred at 3am on Wednesday 20 July and Cleveland police are urging any witnesses to come forward. A statement released by the force read:

“The man who lit the aerosol is described as white, in his early 20s, medium build, with short blond hair. He was bare-chested and wearing jogging bottoms. Officers are treating this as a homophobic hate crime and are asking anyone with information to come forward and call police on 101.”

Criminal Injury – Expert Advice

We understand that if you have been subjected to an act of violence, your thoughts will turn to making a full recovery – compensation will likely be the last thing on your mind.

There is, however, a government Scheme that provides compensation to victims or their families who have been the innocent victims of violent crime. The Scheme is called the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme and is governed by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).

If you would like expert advice on this type of case, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6 888 or email claims@hampsonhughes.com.

Source: The Guardian

Cargo Handling Company Fined by HSE

Image of Aberdeen harbour at dusk

A cargo handling company has been fined by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) following an incident in which a worker was seriously injured.

Incident

Cargo handling company North East Stevedoring Company Limited (NESC), based in Aberdeen, was working at Clipper Quay, Aberdeen Harbour at the time of the incident.

On 13 June 2013, an NESC employee was transporting loose pipes from the quay to a crane on the quayside. The employee was operating a forklift truck in order to transport the pipes.

Christopher Smith, an employee of Euroline Shipping Company Limited, was responsible for overseeing loading operations at the quay. Mr Smith was making his way to the ship that the cargo was to be loaded onto, when he was struck on the lower back by the pipes as they were in transit.

Mr Smith suffered several fractured vertebrae, as well as a fracture to his left elbow. He has not returned to work since the incident occurred.

HSE Investigation

Following an investigation by the HSE, it was found that there was no safe system of work in place at Clipper Quay. NSEC was found to have failed to ensure a safe distance was in place between pedestrians and vehicles.

HSE told Aberdeen Sheriff Court that NESC was responsible for organising their work site and therefor responsible for the safety of those using it.

Sentencing

After pleading guilty to breaching Section 17(1) of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, North East Stevedoring Company Limited, of Streamline Terminal, Blaikies Quay, Aberdeen was fined £12,000.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Sarah Liversidge said:

“The law states duty holders must ensure the workplace is organised in such a way that pedestrians and vehicles can circulate in a safe manner.

“NESC failed in that undertaking, there was insufficient separation between vehicles and pedestrians within the loading area at the Quay that resulted in Mr Smith sustaining serious injury that has prevented him from returning to work.”

Injury at Work – Expert Advice

We are personal injury claims experts – our specialist accident claims solicitors are here to provide you with on-going valuable support.

If you have been injured in the workplace and you would like expert advice on this type of case, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6 888 or email claims@hampsonhughes.com for a FREE initial consultation.

Source: Health & Safety Executive

NSPCC: Internet used to commit 3000 child sex crimes in 2015

Image of someone typing on a laptop

According to figures released by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), the internet was used as a platform to commit around 3000 sex crimes against children in the UK in 2015/16.

“Cyber-flagging”

At the start of April 2015, the Home Office made the recording of any sexual crime against a child that involves the use of the internet a mandatory requirement within UK police forces. This process is known as ‘cyber flagging’, and is used by police to get a better understanding of the extent of online offences against children under 18.

Figures released in a report by the NSPCC revealed that over the last year, an average of 8 cyber based sex crimes were reported to police each day, with some forces recording hundreds of crimes. However, other forces received fewer than 10 reports over the year period and other forces admitted to not knowing about, or utilising, the cyber flagging method.

3000 child sex offences reported

Of the 44 police forces across England and Wales, 38 responded to the freedom of information request for figures on how many internet-based sexual crimes had been committed against children in 2015/2016.

Offences included inciting children to take part in a sex act, sexual assaults and grooming victims before meeting them. Over 100 rapes of children were also reported.

Offenders used the internet as a gateway to commit sex crimes against victims as young as one year old. In total, 535 reported cyber abuse cases were committed against thirteen year olds and 272 victims were under the age of ten.

Increased online activity

With children spending an increasing amount of time online and on social media, charities such as the NSPCC are urging police forces across the country to ensure that their officers are recording and investigating sex crimes against children effectively.

Peter Wanless, NSPCC Chief Executive said:

“These figures confirm our fears that the online world is playing a significant role in the sexual abuse of children in the UK.

“It’s clear that a large volume of sexual assaults and rapes of children have involved the use of the internet – for example by grooming victims before abusing them offline, or live-streaming the abuse.

“We know grooming is on the rise because children are increasingly telling our ChildLine service how they are being targeted online. Predatory adults posing as children try to meet them or blackmail them into meeting up or performing sexual acts on webcams, which obviously terrifies them and can leave some feeling suicidal.

“By revealing this first year of data we hope to highlight how police are under increasing pressure to cope with online offences so we have to ensure they have the resources and training to make them fit for tackling crime in the 21st century.

“And government must make mental health support available to every child who has endured abuse – as we are calling for through our It’s Time campaign.”

Sexual Abuse Claims – Expert Advice

Hampson Hughes Solicitors specialises in directing sexual abuse claims in a considerate and compassionate manner. Our Abuse & Criminal Injuries Department is headed by Greg Neill – Greg is a member of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers (ACAL).

For an open and friendly conversation about your situation, and to find out how we can assist you relevant to your individual experience, call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hh-law.co.uk

You will be given the direct-dial of your case handler, meaning that you will always be able to reach the person you need.

Source: NSPCC; The Guardian

Child Sexual Exploitation: Police Criticised by Watchdog

A report by the HM Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) has criticised Devon and Cornwall Police for not responding quick enough to information regarding children at risk of sexual exploitation.

Children at risk of serious harm

The independent inspectors have expressed their concern that the delays in investigating cases by the force could be putting children at risk of serious harm. Highlighting a case in which a 12-year old boy who had been groomed for sexual exploitation by an adult family friend, HMIC said more needs to be done to tackle the causes of such delays.

The report said:

“There was no evidence of any consideration being given to the wider risks posed by the suspect to other children. Despite police records showing the suspect had previously held a number of roles supervising children (including as a Scout leader, which he was asked to leave because he had taken children on trips without permission), no further investigation was undertaken to assess wider risks or to identify further potential victims.”

In another case, a 14 year old boy had been reported missing around 40 times, as well attempting to commit suicide.

In this case the risk of child sexual exploitation (CSE) had been considered and information had been shared with local authority. However, there were no long term measures in place to safeguard the child going forward.

Another cause for concern in the report was the case of a thirteen year old girl. The teenager complained to police of sexual assault at the hands of a woman she was in a relationship with. However it took the police force over a week to investigate and a total of two months passed before an arrest was made.

The report added:

“Despite concerns about the victim’s vulnerability to CSE being recorded on police systems several months before this …there was still no evidence of a safeguarding or protective plan being implemented for the victim despite clear signs of her obvious vulnerability.”

Post-inspection review of report

HMIC’s initial report regarding Devon and Cornwall police was published in 2015 and a post-inspection review was carried out in April of this year. The review noted that frontline staff within the force had been subject to additional vulnerability training. Furthermore, the review noted that some improvements had been made in relation to how the force recognised and responded to CSE.

Wendy Williams, of HMIC, said:

“Following our second inspection, it was clear that Devon and Cornwall police is committed to improving how it protects children. We found examples of good practice in how it recognises and responds to child sexual exploitation, and its risk assessment of vulnerable children.

“However, the force still faces challenges which it must overcome to ensure children are protected in all areas. We found delays to child protection investigations, as well as delays in responding to cases where children were at risk of sexual exploitation. These delays can result in children being at risk of significant harm, and need to be addressed promptly.”

Sexual Abuse Claims – Expert Advice

Hampson Hughes Solicitors specialises in directing sexual abuse claims in a considerate and compassionate manner. Our Abuse & Criminal Injuries Department is headed by Greg Neill – Greg is a member of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers (ACAL).

For an open and friendly conversation about your situation, and to find out how we can assist you relevant to your individual experience, call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hh-law.co.uk

You will be given the direct-dial of your case handler, meaning that you will always be able to reach the person you need.

Source: The Guardian

Plymouth Firm Fined after Death of Worker

Image of stacked wooden pellets

A Plymouth fish processing firm has been fined half a million pounds by the HSE after a young employee died when a stack of boxes struck him.

Incident

Twenty two year old Tomas Suchy was helping to stack pallets of frozen fish when another lot of boxes fell on top of him. Tomas, an employee of Interfish Limited, suffered multiple severe injuries which he later died from.

Investigation

The Health and Safety Executive investigated the incident and found that staff had been given no instruction on how to safely store the pallets and that there was no safe system of work in place. Furthermore, it was found that there was no written procedure for how to appropriately deal with falls of stock when this occurred.

After pleading guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974., Interfish Limited, of Wallsend Industrial Estate, Cattedown Wharves, Plymouth, was fined £500,000. The company was also ordered to pay costs of £24,800.

Emma O’Hara, HSE inspector, said:

“Safe stacking of stock is a cross-industry necessity and can often be overlooked when considering safe systems of work. Duty holders need to ensure that they are stacking safely and that they have a plan for dealing with any unforeseen circumstances such as a fall of stock.”

Accident at work – expert advice

We are personal injury claims experts – our specialist accident claims solicitors are here to provide you with on-going valuable support.

If you have been injured in the workplace and you would like expert advice on this type of case, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6 888 or email claims@hampsonhughes.com for a FREE initial consultation.

Source: Health & Safety Executive

Cheshire Firm Fined after Worker Severs Hand

A home brewing kit manufacturer based in Ellesmere Port has been fined following an incident in which an employee’s right hand was severed at work.

Incident

Liverpool Magistrates’ Court heard how on 21 October 2014, an employee of SPL International Ltd was asked to clean a horizontal cantilever mixer. The worker had undertaken this task previously and after turning the mixer off at the mains, he cleaned and dried the blender as was asked.

However, after he had turned the power back on, the employee noticed that water was dripping from the rim of the outlet hole. The worker placed his right hand into the access hole whilst he was attempting to dry the rim, and his hand came into contact the blades of the mixer.

HSE Investigation & Sentencing

An investigation into the incident at Pool Hall Industrial estate by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that no risk assessment had been carried out for the process of cleaning the blender.

After pleading guilty to a breach of Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, SPL International Ltd, of Poole Hall Industrial Estate, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire was fined £8,000 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £7,004.

HSE Inspector Jane Carroll said after the hearing:

“This case is a stark reminder of the consequences of a failure to adequately guard machinery and implement safe systems of work for cleaning and maintenance activities.”

Accident at work – expert advice

We are personal injury claims experts – our specialist accident claims solicitors are here to provide you with on-going valuable support.

If you have been injured in the workplace and you would like expert advice on this type of case, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6 888 or email claims@hampsonhughes.com for a FREE initial consultation.

Source: Health & Safety Executive