27/01/2017 Points West


27/01/2017

The latest news, sport, weather and features from the West of England.


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A court heard today about the chaos inside a transport company,

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responsible for the runaway truck in Bath that killed four people.

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The man who ran the company and his mechanic were

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The judge said they'd shown a cavalier attitude

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to maintaining their vehicles as Imogen Sellers reports.

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February 9th 2015, and a crash that changed the lives of so many.

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But today, Bristol Crown Court heard how it all could

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A 32-ton truck careered down Landsdown Lane

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Three men from Wales and four-year-old Mitzi Steady

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Today in court, the judge said the brakes on the truck,

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owned by Matthew Gordon, were so poorly maintained

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And that the lives of the four victims were lost due a bodged

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As a company owner, Matthew Gordon had no transport manager and was

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responsible for safety. His mechanic signed off vehicles are safe when

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clearly they were not. This subsequent loss of life and

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long-standing effect on the community were totally foreseeable

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and also avoidable. Emma-Jade the mother of Mitzi Steady

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told the court of the heartbreak She spoke of the devastation

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that their bright beautiful, vibrant, outgoing little girl

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will never have her She will never learn to read or have

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best friends to giggle and play with.

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Philip Potter, who was driving the lorry, was also a victim

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of Matthew Gordon's cavalier approach to safety.

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In sentencing, the judge said the lorry was so dangerous it never

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should have been on the road in that day in February. He said, you have a

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history of cutting corners with a reckless disregard for the

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consequences. It was highly foreseeable that death or serious

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injury would occur. That was the culture of your business. In

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sentencing the mechanic, Peter Wood, he said that he had a cavalier

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approach to safety. Matthew Goode was sentenced to seven and a half

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years in prison. Finally, the families can get on with grieving

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knowing that the men responsible for this tragedy are behind bars. The

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judge said that Matthew Gordon wasn't concerned for the public but

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only himself. So, what is being done to stop other companies cutting

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corners in a similar way? Scott Ellis has been out with the safety

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patrols. This is one way to make

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sure HGV's are safe, The operators when they sign up sign

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to say they will keep their vehicles in a fit and serviceable position,

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and if we want to send a message to those who don't, we are here and we

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will target them. The DVSA keep tabs on hauliers,

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using data such as MOT failures. That information's used by officers

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as they patrol our motorways. Along the M4, there are cameras

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spotting number though the patrol knows which lorries are coming down

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the road towards them. They can quickly check who is operating that

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lorry and if it is somebody who's got a poor track record of

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maintenance they are more likely to be hold in. -- pulled in.

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Across the UK, the DVSA checks 220,000 lorries

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One in three fails some aspect of the mechanical test.

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The Road Haulage Association wants more enforcement like this.

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And it wants new operators blitzed with an audit

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within six months of start up, saying that would have stopped

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The complete ignorance of the rules and the disregard for the safety

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rules would have been known about. It would have been reported to the

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traffic Commissioner who would then could have potentially taken action

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against them by removing their license or forcing them to take

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action to remedy the issues. Truck drivers we spoke to hope

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the Bath tragedy will send out But the reputable drivers worry

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corners will still be cut. People are undercutting each other

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all the time. And it is just the pressure on these companies to make

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money. It can cost a thousand pounds

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a month to maintain a truck. The message is profit

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cannot come before safety. The judge saying today

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Grittenham Haulage had a cavalier And this 32-ton tipper truck had

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"truly serious faults" that Police are setting up a mobile

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station outside Motion nightclub in Bristol tonight where

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Deakon Wilkins was last seen The 24-year-old from

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Weston-super-Mare remains missing despite police searches of nearby

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land and river. Officers will speak to people

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as they arrive at the club tonight in the hope

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of getting new information. In tonight's rugby, Bath faced

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Gloucester at home and it The visitors converted a try

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on 20 minutes which gave them a seven point lead,

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but Bath went ahead with four penalties and then scored

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this try on 74 minutes. Gloucester hit back a few minutes

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later crossing the line So rugby tonight and

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football tomorrow. We'll have those results

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when we're back at teatime. For now though- I'll wish

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you a lovely weekend A marked change to the weather. An

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unsettled flavour to things. With the overnight rain clearing away

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during the course of Saturday, there will be a dry and brighter phase.

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Sunday will be mild. Temperatures broadly within the range of 3-6 C.

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Rather fragmentary in some of that pattern, the rain. As that clears

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away, drier, brighter conditions but as we get further into the

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afternoon, more showers heading towards the West. Heavy, thundery

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and some quite gusty winds. Temperatures nine Celsius, and it

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may Good evening. Not many would argue

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that January hasn't been dry, but today, many of us had our first

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significant rain for some time, because the transition is on from

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cold, Continental dry air to milder Atlantic air, but the transition is

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a slow one. So we have had ice today, and freezing fog, in northern

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England. We had a little sunshine as well in Norfolk, but we still have

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the cold air around and about in the north. All this rain you can see,

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which is giving is a wet day in some areas, 10-15 millimetres of rain has

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fallen, as it comes north there could be some winter it issues. Snow

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already falling over Scotland, possibly over northern England,

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possibly some sleet over lower areas and fog. Not

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