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No case to answer


I am writing in reference to the report (NCE 10 February) regarding the prosecution of this practice by the Health and Safety Executive under the CDM Regulations following an accident at the National Marine Aquarium in 1997.

I wish to correct the impression given by your article. This case did not 'collapse on a legal technicality'. The judge, HHJ Overend found that, on the evidence provided by the prosecution, there was no case to answer.

In directing the jury to acquit us, Judge Overend stressed that 'pointing to the designer is, frankly, wrong' and awarded our costs. Finally, there was no evidence that 'a steel frame buckled'. This implies failure of the steelwork as designed, which did not occur. In fact, the building was constructed without change to the original design.

John T Saunders, Jubb & Partners, Brunswick House, 122-124 Exeter Street, Plymouth, PL4 GAR

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