1. ITV Report

Network Rail fined £1m over two girls' deaths at level crossing

Network Rail has been fined £1 million for breaching health and safety laws at the crossing where two teenage girls were killed in 2005.

Charlotte Thompson, 13, and Olivia Bazlinton, 14, were hit by a train at a level crossing in Elsenham, Essex.

Judge David Turner QC, sentencing at Chelmsford Crown Court, also ordered Network Rail to pay £60,000 costs.

He said: "I have concluded that there was a clear history of inadequate risk assessment and a failure to heed and act upon relevant information.

He also said there had been: "Narrow thinking, culpable corporate blindness and a complacency going beyond merely inefficient incompetency to entering the realm of criminal failure.

Outside the court, Olivia's father, Chris Bazlinton, said: "The process of justice has been done and they have been fined £1million - it is nothing more than symbolic.

"I still think we have got to go on and ask who knew what and when?"

Chris Bazlinton and Tina Hughes, parents of Olivia Bazlinton, outside Chelmsford Crown Court, Credit: Ella Pickover/PA Wire

Charlotte's mother, Hilary Thompson said: "They took our daughters from us and they broke our hearts."

Charlotte's father, Reg Thompson, added: "There are so many people who suffer the same tragedy that we suffer and suffer in silence.

"What Network Rail have promised to do today in court, which is to spend £130 million on improving safety on level crossings, and the changes that they have already made, have come about because of the terrible thing that happened to our daughters."

Reg and Hilary Thompson, parents of Charlotte Thompson, outside Chelmsford Crown Court, Credit: lla Pickover/PA Wire

Network Rail chief executive Sir David Higgins said: "On behalf of Network Rail I apologise for the mistakes made by us in this tragic case that contributed to the deaths of Olivia and Charlotte.

"Nothing we can say or do will lessen the pain felt by Olivia and Charlotte's families but I have promised the families that we will make level crossings safer, and we will deliver on that promise."