Firm fined £120k after woman burnt so badly she needed surgery


A massive fine and order to pay costs totalling £130,029 was imposed on Spirit Pub Company (Services) Ltd after a member of staff at Gatwick Manor was burnt so badly she needed surgery, said Crawley Borough Council.

The fine of £120,000 and costs of £10,029 was ordered by Her Honour Judge Henson QC at a sentencing hearing at Chichester Crown Court on Friday (May 20).

The prosecution was brought by Crawley Borough Council which alleged the company had failed to ensure the health and safety of staff between March 2013 and September 2014. The company pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing.

A council spokesman said: “Crawley Council Environmental Health Officers investigated the case after a staff member at Gatwick Manor burnt her face, arms and body while filtering oil from a deep fat fryer in September 2014. The scalds were so severe she required skin transplants at East Grinstead’s Queen Victoria Hospital.”

Delivering the sentence, Judge Henson QC noted the company’s guilty plea at the earliest opportunity and took into account action to dismiss the general manager. She also noted the company’s incorporation into the Greene King parent company who had replaced the management team at Gatwick Manor.

However, she also pointed out that the former general manager had failed to follow company policies and had changed the procedure for maintaining the deep fat fryers without reference to head office, putting all staff seriously at risk between July 2014 and September 2014, added the spokesman.

Cllr Geraint Thomas, Cabinet member for Environmental Services and Sustainability, said: “This was an alarming breach of the Health and Safety Act, which resulted in serious injury for a member of staff.

“The council takes cases like this very seriously and I hope this serves as a strong message to borough businesses that we will not tolerate poor health and safety management.”

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