3PB's Michael Vere-Hodge QC and Nicholas Cotter in successful prosecution of Center Parcs

3PB's regulatory barristers Michael Vere-Hodge QC and Nicholas Cotter, representing the local authority, successfully prosecuted Center Parcs in Woburn. The site pleaded guilty, after a jury were sworn, to two counts that reflected a very serious health and safety breach that had put the employees of Center Parcs and the public at risk.

An Center Parcs employee undertook to unblock a sewer that contained a large electric pump. He failed to isolate the electricity, adopt a risk assessment, wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) or use any other safety equipment. Instead he got another worker to hold him by the belt as he lent over the sewer. Sadly he received an electric shock when he placed a large metal rod into the drain to fish out a blockage that caused him to fall unconscious. It was only the fast reactions of his co-worker that stopped him falling into the sewer which is five metres deep and would have resulted in his probable death. The Learned Judge HHJ Mensah sitting at Luton imposed a substantial fine of £455k plus prosecution costs.