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A court heard today about the chaos inside a transport company,
responsible for the runaway truck in Bath that killed four people.
The man who ran the company and his mechanic were
The judge said they'd shown a cavalier attitude
to maintaining their vehicles as Imogen Sellers reports.
February 9th 2015, and a crash that changed the lives of so many.
But today, Bristol Crown Court heard how it all could
A 32-ton truck careered down Landsdown Lane
Three men from Wales and four-year-old Mitzi Steady
Today in court, the judge said the brakes on the truck,
owned by Matthew Gordon, were so poorly maintained
And that the lives of the four victims were lost due a bodged
As a company owner, Matthew Gordon had no transport manager and was
responsible for safety. His mechanic signed off vehicles are safe when
clearly they were not. This subsequent loss of life and
long-standing effect on the community were totally foreseeable
and also avoidable. Emma-Jade the mother of Mitzi Steady
told the court of the heartbreak She spoke of the devastation
that their bright beautiful, vibrant, outgoing little girl
will never have her She will never learn to read or have
best friends to giggle and play with.
Philip Potter, who was driving the lorry, was also a victim
of Matthew Gordon's cavalier approach to safety.
In sentencing, the judge said the lorry was so dangerous it never
should have been on the road in that day in February. He said, you have a
history of cutting corners with a reckless disregard for the
consequences. It was highly foreseeable that death or serious
injury would occur. That was the culture of your business. In
sentencing the mechanic, Peter Wood, he said that he had a cavalier
approach to safety. Matthew Goode was sentenced to seven and a half
years in prison. Finally, the families can get on with grieving
knowing that the men responsible for this tragedy are behind bars. The
judge said that Matthew Gordon wasn't concerned for the public but
only himself. So, what is being done to stop other companies cutting
corners in a similar way? Scott Ellis has been out with the safety
patrols. This is one way to make
sure HGV's are safe, The operators when they sign up sign
to say they will keep their vehicles in a fit and serviceable position,
and if we want to send a message to those who don't, we are here and we
will target them. The DVSA keep tabs on hauliers,
using data such as MOT failures. That information's used by officers
as they patrol our motorways. Along the M4, there are cameras
spotting number though the patrol knows which lorries are coming down
the road towards them. They can quickly check who is operating that
lorry and if it is somebody who's got a poor track record of
maintenance they are more likely to be hold in. -- pulled in.
Across the UK, the DVSA checks 220,000 lorries
One in three fails some aspect of the mechanical test.
The Road Haulage Association wants more enforcement like this.
And it wants new operators blitzed with an audit
within six months of start up, saying that would have stopped
The complete ignorance of the rules and the disregard for the safety
rules would have been known about. It would have been reported to the
traffic Commissioner who would then could have potentially taken action
against them by removing their license or forcing them to take
action to remedy the issues. Truck drivers we spoke to hope
the Bath tragedy will send out But the reputable drivers worry
corners will still be cut. People are undercutting each other
all the time. And it is just the pressure on these companies to make
money. It can cost a thousand pounds
a month to maintain a truck. The message is profit
cannot come before safety. The judge saying today
Grittenham Haulage had a cavalier And this 32-ton tipper truck had
"truly serious faults" that Police are setting up a mobile
station outside Motion nightclub in Bristol tonight where
Deakon Wilkins was last seen The 24-year-old from
Weston-super-Mare remains missing despite police searches of nearby
land and river. Officers will speak to people
as they arrive at the club tonight in the hope
of getting new information. In tonight's rugby, Bath faced
Gloucester at home and it The visitors converted a try
on 20 minutes which gave them a seven point lead,
but Bath went ahead with four penalties and then scored
this try on 74 minutes. Gloucester hit back a few minutes
later crossing the line So rugby tonight and
football tomorrow. We'll have those results
when we're back at teatime. For now though- I'll wish
you a lovely weekend A marked change to the weather. An
unsettled flavour to things. With the overnight rain clearing away
during the course of Saturday, there will be a dry and brighter phase.
Sunday will be mild. Temperatures broadly within the range of 3-6 C.
Rather fragmentary in some of that pattern, the rain. As that clears
away, drier, brighter conditions but as we get further into the
afternoon, more showers heading towards the West. Heavy, thundery
and some quite gusty winds. Temperatures nine Celsius, and it
may Good evening. Not many would argue
that January hasn't been dry, but today, many of us had our first
significant rain for some time, because the transition is on from
cold, Continental dry air to milder Atlantic air, but the transition is
a slow one. So we have had ice today, and freezing fog, in northern
England. We had a little sunshine as well in Norfolk, but we still have
the cold air around and about in the north. All this rain you can see,
which is giving is a wet day in some areas, 10-15 millimetres of rain has
fallen, as it comes north there could be some winter it issues. Snow
already falling over Scotland, possibly over northern England,
possibly some sleet over lower areas and fog. Not