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  1. ITV Report

M5 crash case dismissed by judge

Geoffrey Counsell was originally charged with manslaughter in October 2012 Photo: Tim Ireland/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The case against the man who put on a fireworks display close to the M5 in Somerset where 7 people died has been dismissed by the trial judge.

A judge directed a jury at Bristol Crown Court to find Geoffrey Counsel not guilty of a single charge of failing to ensure the safety of others contrary to the Health and Safety at Work Act.

Mr Counsell has been under immense pressure for two years as he faced first the threat of manslaughter charges and then when they were dropped a charge that he failed to ensure the safety of others.

Today that heavy load was lifted from his shoulders when the trial judge dismissed the case.

Seven people died and 51 were injured in the crash two years ago Credit: ITV News West Country

Seven people died and 51 were injured on the night of November 4th two years ago. Those involved in the accident reported very dense fog. It was, they said, as if someone had thrown paint or a blanket, over the windscreen.

Mr Counsell organised a display at Taunton Rugby Club near the M5 Credit: ITV News West Country

The fireworks display at Taunton Rugby Club was 190 metres away from the M5. The prosecution said the intense 15 minute, 1500 shot display sent smoke drifting towards the motorway where it mingled with fog to create smog. They say Mr Counsell should have stopped setting the fireworks off after 8 minutes.

David Woodland reports.

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