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Fire service supports jail conviction

A FIFTEEN-month jail sentence has been handed to the director of a paper plant following a major fire at a Stockport waste site.

Barry Kilroe, director of J25 Recycling Ltd, Recovered Fuels Shipping Ltd and Asset and Land Group Ltd, pleaded guilty to 10 charges of unlawful operation at three waste sites and as well as receiving a prison sentence was handed a £2,400 fine.

Almost 50 fire appliances dealt with the blaze in the first 24 hours after it started on August 20, 2013. It then continued to burn for more than a month.

At Manchester Crown Court Judge Stuart Driver QC examined various pieces of evidence including the business impact statement provided by Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS). He concluded the cost incurred by GMFRS, as well as the impact to Service, were contributing factors in the sentence he passed down.

GMFRS worked closely with the Environment Agency throughout the investigation, detailing the impact the fire had on the organisation. Fire officers identified the cost of the incident resulted in a bill of more than £1 million for the tax payer, while stations across the county were left empty as fire engines attended the blaze.  

Group Manager Peter Lamb, who is responsible for operational assurance, compiled the report for the Service and said: “We have worked closely with the Environment Agency, producing a business impact statement which has been used in court to support the case. We’re really pleased with the verdict and the part we were able to play in seeking justice.”

To understand the cost of the fire, fire officers reviewed the actions on the day the fire started and the following 41 days the fire service was in attendance. They examined a number of factors including staff time, cleaning cost of the personal protective equipment and even having to rent toilet facilities. The total bill for the fire service for its work was £1,033,649.

Also sentenced in court on Friday (March 31, 2017) was Jane Williams, transport manager and company director, fined a total of £500, and Richard James Davies, financial director, who was given a 12-month conditional discharge.

Last update: 04/04/2017 16:01:03
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