UK Power Networks hit with £1 million fine over horror electrocution of Stevenage scientist out jogging
PUBLISHED: 06:54 28 January 2016
A power company prosecuted on health and safety grounds after the accidental electrocution of a Stevenage scientist out jogging has been hit with a £1 million fine.
UK Power Networks pleaded guilty at Chelmsford Crown Court to contravening health and safety regulations between November 2008 and July 2013.
In addition to the giant fine the group was also ordered to pay £153,474.06 in costs.
Dr James Kew, a director of biology at GlaxoSmithKline’s research department in Gunnels Wood Road, died immediately in the horror incident in July 2012, after an 11,000-volt power cable came down to about head height over a public footpath in the Essex village of Newport.
A jury at Chelmsford Coroner’s Court determined two years ago that the 41-year-old’s death from burns was accidental, but UK Power Networks has now admitted that it failed to ensure the downed line did not endanger him or others.
A spokeswoman for UK Power said: “Ever since the tragic accident our thoughts have been with Dr Kew’s family and friends and we are acutely aware of its consequences for them. We are truly sorry that it happened.
“Safety is our top priority and for two years UK Power has had the best safety performance in the industry.”
Dr Kew, who lived in Ashdon in Essex, was married and was a member of Saffron Striders Running Club. He played hockey for Bishop’s Stortford.