Full report: man pleads not guilty to M5 crash charge
A man charged in connection with the M5 crash in Somerset which killed seven people, has pleaded not guilty to a breach of health and safety law.
Firework company boss Geoffrey Counsell organised a display at a rugby club beside the motorway in Taunton on the night of the pile-up in November 2011. From Bristol Crown Court, Richard Payne reports.
Fireworks organiser faces lesser charge over M5 crash
Charges of manslaughter against the man who ran a fireworks display the night of the M5 crash have been dropped. Seven people died and 51 were injured in the crash near the display at Taunton Rugby Club. Geoffrey Counsell now faces a lesser health and safety charge. Robert Murphy reports.
M5 manslaughter charges dropped against firework organiser
Manslaughter charges are to be dropped against the man who organised a firework display on the night of the M5 crash in Somerset in which seven people died. Bristol Crown Court heard that Geoffrey Cousell will face a health and safety charge.
Fifty-one people were also injured in the crash near Taunton in November 2011. Detective Superintendent Mike Courtiour from Avon and Somerset police said:
The collision on the M5 in November 2011 was one of the worst in living memory. We launched a comprehensive investigation immediately after to establish the full circumstances which led to the collision. Our investigation was meticulous and complex. We took hundreds of witness statements, examined 34 vehicles and consulted several experts. Based on this evidence the Crown Prosecution Service took a decision to charge. However, following further consideration in recent weeks they have decided to drop the manslaughter charges.”
Crowds turn out for fireworks despite reduced displays
Crowds still turned out to watch the Plymouth Fireworks Championships last night despite the event taking place on a reduced scale due to high winds. The Champion of Champions competition was postponed in the interests of fairness.