Garage owner sentenced for reversing into customer


Police Tape

The owner of a Berkshire-based car maintenance company has been fined £7,500 and ordered to undertake 250 hours of community work after reversing into and killing a customer.

The customer, Frederick Gleeson aged 79, sustained fatal head injuries after he was struck by a van at Complete Car Care on Welley Road in Wraysbury on March 12, 2012.

Sole trader at Complete Car Care, Mark Walker, was driving the van, after Mr Gleeson dropped off his car at the business.

According to Fleet News, Reading Crown Court heard that Mr Gleeson was in the driveway of the premises when Walker started to reverse his van along the drive to leave the garage.

Mr Gleeson was knocked over and banged his head on the ground. He was taken to Wrexham Park Hospital where he died from his injuries.

The Health and Safety Executive found that Walker had no system in place for safely managing the movement of vehicles at his site.

The court was told his van had no direct rear visibility and that a rear-monitoring camera that had been fitted to the vehicle wasn't used.

The HSE also found that Walker did not actually check to see whether the route was clear or arrange for assistance when reversing, Fleet News reported.

After being found guilty of two separate breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1984, Walker was fined £7,500 and ordered to undertake 250 hour of community service. He is also liable for £75,000 in prosecution costs, which will be covered through insurance.

The judge ruled that Walker's breach of duty was a direct cause of Gleeson's death.

After sentencing, HSE Inspector Nigel Fitzhugh said that Mr Gleeson's death had been entirely preventable.

He added that managing the movement of vehicles at Complete Car Care premises was entirely Mark Walker's responsibility and it was clear there had been no system in place to control this.