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Hendersons - Barristers' Chambers
News Health & Safety 29th Nov 2019

Port of London Authority acquitted

The Port of London Authority (“ the PLA”) was acquitted on Thursday 28 November of a serious maritime safety offence arising out of the sinking of the Chiefton tug and death of a crew member on 12 August 2011.

The prosecution had accused the PLA of failing to adequately and safely plan the tow of the Skyline Barge by the Chiefton and Steven B tug boats during a passage down the River Thames between 9 August and 12 August. The PLA maintained in its defence that in the particular circumstances the risk of the Chiefton sinking was not a material risk and in any event, the evidence showed the PLA had done all that was reasonably practicable to make the passage safe.

After a 7 week trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court before Thornton J, and following receipt of evidence from seven maritime experts, the jury unanimously found the PLA not guilty.

Tim Green was instructed by Tim Williamson of Foot Anstey on behalf of the PLA and led by Ben Compton QC.

Tim is ranked as band 1 for health and safety work, and environmental law, by Chambers and Partners 2020. Tim’s profile can be found here.


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