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Jeffries and Network Rail settle out of court


HATFIELD ENGINEER Nick Jeffries has reached an out-ofcourt settlement with Network Rail following his sacking in November last year for recounting his trial experiences with NCE.

The terms of the settlement have not been made public, and both parties have signed condentiality agreements.

The settlement was reached on Tuesday evening, the day before Jeffries' case was due to be heard at an Employment Tribunal in Exeter. Jeffries was seeking compensation and reinstatement. Network Rail had already admitted that it unfairly dismissed Jeffries, who was acquitted of charges relating to his role in the Hateld train crash (NCE 23 February).

The admission was contained in documents submitted by Network Rail to the Employment Tribunal Service and seen by NCE.

But it maintained that Jeffries contributed to his own dismissal by breaching a 'specic instruction not to give press interviews in relation to his part in the Hateld criminal trial'.

Jeffries and four other engineers were acquitted of charges of manslaughter and health-andsafety violations following the October 2000 crash.

At the time he was working as a civil engineer for track maintenance firm Balfour Beatty. He then worked for maintenance contractor Amey but moved to Network Rail after it took maintenance back in-house.

He disputed Network Rail's claim that the Hateld defendants were given a specic instruction not to talk to the press.

Jeffries also rejected Network Rail's claim that he breached the company's rules of conduct on the basis that he was speaking to the press about a personal matter. Network Rail's rules of conduct bar employees from speaking to the press without permission.

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