1. ITV Report

Business owner to face manslaughter trial next year after fireworks blaze in warehouse

The fire took place at SP Plastics in Baswich Stafford in October 2014. Credit: ITV News Central

A business owner accused of manslaughter after a fatal fireworks warehouse blaze is to stand trial next year.

Richard Pearson, 43, from Stafford, pleaded not guilty to two charges of gross negligence manslaughter during an appearance at the town's Crown Court, a court spokesman said.

Stewart Staples, 57 and Simon Hillier 41, both died in the fire at the warehouse in Stafford in 2014. Credit: Staffordshire Police

The charges follow an inquiry into the deaths of 41-year-old Simon Hillier and Stewart Staples, 57, in a fire at SP Plastics in Baswich, Stafford, in October 2014. The trial of Pearson, who was granted bail, has been listed to start on April 16, the spokesman said.