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    Jail sentence handed out over unsafe offroading "Toms Farm"


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    Jail sentence handed out over unsafe offroading "Toms Farm"

    Post  rikidooos on Tue Dec 21, 2010 8:38 am


    Jail sentence handed out over unsafe offroading (Tom's Farm)

    Published date: 16 December 2010 | Published by: Richard Jones

    A MID Wales couple who allowed unrestricted off-road access to their land with ‘complete disregard to health and safety’, have been sentenced at Merthyr Crown Court.

    Thomas Stephen John Breese and Elizabeth Breese operated an off-road motor-sport facility at Cwmderw, Pantydwr, Rhayader, where members of the public were allowed unrestricted and uncontrolled access to their land for a fee in order to operate off-road vehicles, such as motorcycles, quad bikes and other 4x4 vehicles.

    The couple appeared before Judge Corran at Merthyr Crown Court on Monday, December 13, and were sentenced for the failure to comply with the Prohibition Notices served previously upon them, contrary to Section 33(1)(g) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

    Stephen Thomas Breese was sentenced to four months (16 weeks) imprisonment, with immediate effect. Elizabeth Breese was sentenced to two months (8 weeks) imprisonment, suspended for 12 months.

    The sentencing followed a long running Powys County Council Environmental Health investigation which resulted in the county council serving enforcement notices on the couple in 2006 banning them from hiring their land to members of the public or groups for off-road until essential health and safety work was carried out.

    Last month Mrs Breese was convicted of failure to comply with the Prohibition Notice served previously upon her, contrary to Section 33(1)(g) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 following a two-day trial in Merthyr Crown Court.

    Mr Breese had previously pleaded guilty to the same charge in October 2009. The sentence was adjourned until the conclusion of the case against Mrs Breese.

    Environmental health officer, Catherine Davies told the court that police and environmental health officers witnessed activities at Cwmderw in breach of the enforcement notices.

    She told the court that motorcycles and quad bikes were being operated by adults and children around the site with no apparent restrictions, stewards, marshals or first aid personnel.

    A number of riders were not wearing a helmet and there was no demarcation of the off-road track area or appropriate signage to indicate potential hazards, speed limits, direction of travel, blind spots or participant age restrictions. There was no segregation between spectators and off-road vehicles, different types of vehicles or driver capabilities.

    The couple, she added, knowingly continued to breach the Prohibition Notices served upon them and have not implemented a minimum standard of Health and Safety on site and have complete disregard to protecting public health and preventing a fatal accident from occurring.

    Sentencing Judge Curran said Mr and Mrs Breese had; “Paid no attention what so ever to the Notices” and had “complete disregard to the safety of people on site” at Cwmderw, Pantydwr, Rhayader.

    Following the case Powys County Council Board Member for Public Protection, Councillor Graham Brown said; “We are satisfied with the outcome of the case it brings to a close a very long and difficult investigation.

    “The sentence highlights the serious implications of ignoring public safety.

    “I would like to thank officers for their hard work and pay tribute to Dyfed Powys Police for their invaluable support and cooperation throughout the case.”

      Current date/time is Fri Dec 15, 2017 5:46 pm