Bosses at Rother District Council have given their reaction to today’s sentencing of a supermarket which breached health and safety law.
Jempson’s in Peasmarsh was hit with a £130,000 fine after 62-year-old Patricia Cox lost her leg in a horrific accident in the store’s car park.
She had to have her left leg amputated and was left with severe injuries to her other leg and arm after the incident in January 2013.
She was walking across the car park of the shop in Main Street when she was struck by an 18-tonne delivery lorry trying to reverse into the store’s delivery yard.
In a hearing at Lewes Crown Court today (Friday, July 10), Jempson’s Ltd was also ordered to pay costs to the council, with the amount to be determined at a later date.
The firm had previously been convicted by a jury after denying breaching section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act, following a prosecution by Rother District Council.
Councillor Ian Hollidge, Rother District Council’s cabinet member for environment, transport and public realm, said: “This sentence should send out a clear message to companies and organisations of the importance of doing everything possible to protect the public.
“What became clear during the trial was that the manoeuvre carried out by this lorry was something which was allowed to occur regularly, and the store failed to do enough to reduce the risk of an accident like this occurring.
“This incident had a severe impact on Mrs Cox and she will have to live with the injuries she sustained for the rest of her life.
“I hope she will gain some comfort from this successful prosecution, and that it will raise awareness of the fact that adhering to health and safety law is vital to ensure the public is protected.”
The jury in the trial which preceded sentencing heard evidence from logistics firms which said the supermarket’s delivery yard was cluttered and the access road to it narrowed by cars parked on double yellow lines, meaning lorries had to reverse into the yard.
The court heard that Jempson’s, part of a group of companies which owns eight shops and cafes across the Rother area, knew about the risk posed by lorries reversing in the busy pedestrian area by the entrance to the Peasmarsh store, but failed to implement reasonably practicable measures to reduce the risk of an accident.
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