CPS decision to summons Network Rail and signalman over alleged health and safety breaches


West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has authorised officers from British Transport Police to issue summonses against Network Rail and a signalman alleging offences under the Health and Safety Act 1974 following a fatal incident on 16 January 2010 when a train and a car were in collision at Moreton-on-Lugg level crossing.

Jane Harding, aged 52, died after the collision between the car she was a passenger in and the 0830hrs Manchester Piccadilly Milford Haven train at 10.34am on Saturday 16 January 2010.

Jayne Salt, Head of the West Midlands CPS Complex Casework Unit, said: "Following the tragic death of Mrs Harding at the Moreton-on-Lugg crossing in Herefordshire last year, a detailed file was sent to the CPS to consider what criminal charges, if any, could be brought against those who may have been responsible for her death.

"I have advised the police that Adrian Maund, aged 41, who was the signalman responsible for that particular level crossing, should be summonsed under Section 7 of the Health and Safety Act 1974 for failing to take reasonable care for the health and safety of other people likely to be affected by his actions or omissions at work.

"I have also advised the police to summons Network Rail under Section 3 of the Health and Safety Act 1974 which imposes a duty on an employer to conduct their undertaking in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons not in their employment who may be affected thereby are not exposed to risks to their health and safety.

"I have reached this decision after very carefully reviewing with a leading Queens Counsel all of the material gathered in the police investigation. As part of my review, I considered whether there was sufficient evidence to charge anyone with manslaughter, and have concluded that there is not. However, I am satisfied there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and that it is in the public interest to prosecute these charges under the Health and Safety Act."

The first hearing will take place at Birmingham magistrates' court on the 5 October 2011