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Baldwins hit for £900,000

UK based Baldwins Crane Hire has been fined £700,000 plus £200,000 in costs after being found guilty corporate manslaughter for the death of its operator Lindsay Easton when his 500 tonne crane ran away and collided with an earth bank as he negotiated a steep hill from the Scout Moor wind farm in 2011.

The penalties are payable over five years and the court also ordered that a statement be posted on the company's website - which it has already done - and that within the next three months it make a statement to the trade press.

The company had been found guilty earlier this month due to the fact that the crane’s brakes had not only not been maintained, but some of the braking systems were also partially disabled. The court heard that the crane was not Easton's usual crane, detective Seargent John McNamara, spoke at the sentencing said: “We welcome today’s sentencing and hope that it serves as a reminder to all companies to properly manage and maintain equipment and vehicles, and to keep the safety of their employees at the forefront of their responsibilities".

“The brakes on the crane driven by Mr Easton that day were in a shockingly bad state and this was a disaster waiting to happen. Had this happened on a road with more vehicles this incident could have been even more serious than it already was".

Passing sentence the Judge Pamela Badley said: "The jury decided that the cause of the crash was brake failure, as a result of gross negligence on the part of senior management of the company who had failed to put systems in place for safe working and monitoring."

Health and Safety Executive inspector Kevin Jones said: "I also wish to pay tribute to the heroic actions of Mr Easton which helped prevent an even greater potential tragedy by his attempt to stop the crane on the run-off lane rather than continuing down the access road and onto the public highway."

A victims personal statement from Easton's widow Susan read to the court said: "The life of our family has changed forever. When someone goes to work you expect at the end of the day that they will come home."

Baldwins Crane Hire apologised unreservedly through its solicitor, both prior to the hearing and in court, adding that Easton's death had “affected the Baldwin family very deeply". He aslo added: “it is now a very different company, its health and safety procedures now comply with best practise".

See Baldwins found guilty of Corporate Manslaughter
See Baldwins trial to go ahead


Do you think and I'm just throwing this out there. That none of you were actually in court and maybe just maybe there are some facts that you don't know anything about.

That coupled with the fact that the case over Total probably has very little similarities and that the judge and jury were probably not the same people.

This is a tragedy but the most important thing in all of this is that any mistakes that were made are fixed and nobody is ever at risk again. However this is a UK crane culture not just Baldwins and that is a fact that I have witnessed

Dec 27, 2015

Ordinary Bloke
Hi, First and foremost i want send Lindsay's family, my most heart felt commiserations.

I have read the court's decision and feel very strongly that the so called punishment that was dished out was, ( "like a drop on the Pacific ocean" ) and has not sent out the intended message to employers all over the British Isles, and probably the European Union.
Could i refer to another court case, this was about oil company Total, on the exact same day, Total were fined £1.100,000. The reason for this was a gas leak on the Elgin Platform out in the North Sea. No one was injured and certainly no one God Bless, lost their life. Their was no premeditated actions to the gas leak, sure Totals maintenance should have been more stringent, but no one lost their life.
As for Baldwin Crane Hire, that was an accident waiting to happen, not only that, person's not known to me DELIBERATELY disengaged brakes, not just on the one where Lindsay lost his life, but after the HSE had taken the time to visit other depots, found the same disengaged brakes, so to me this was endemic throughout the company. Not only an accident waiting to happen, it seems by the evidence, it was inevitable someone was going to either be hurt, or as has happened a fatality.
I am perplexed by the courts decision and fell the punishment should be increased to prison time as well as the fine !!

Dec 27, 2015

Old Sweat Old Sweat
Shocking sentence,someone should have been jailed for this tragedy.

Dec 23, 2015

The family did comment if you read the local BBC News. So we should now allow them the family to get on with their lives.

Dec 22, 2015

Michael Brown
Without hearing the facts it does seem a little on the light side! There is no mention of a statement from Lindsay's family, if there unsatisfied maybe they could pursue a civil case against the Baldwins.

Dec 22, 2015

Crane expert
Talk about injustice, what a total shambles somebody should be in prison for this. Hope the Baldwins don't sleep at night.

Dec 22, 2015