Caxton: Kart Company Fined

5 November 2013, 15:22 | Updated: 5 November 2013, 15:30

The company which ran a South Cambridgeshire Go-Kart track when a teenager died has been ordered to pay thousands of pounds in fines and costs.

Peterborough Raceway Limited, which ran the Caxton track in 2009, was sentenced at Peterborough Crown Court earlier.

The sentencing followed the death of 18 year old Suzanne Cornwell.

Suzanne died when her scarf got caught in the axle of a kart at the track in December 2009.

The accident occurred during an out-of-hours session at the track.

Following the accident, South Cambridgeshire District Council started prosecution proceedings under Health and Safety legislation.

At an earlier hearing the company pleaded guilty to a breach of section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Paul Shinn, the manager in charge at the time, pleaded guilty to a breach of Regulation 3(1)(b) Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

The Crown Court judge fined Peterborough Raceway Limited £8,500, and Paul Shinn, was fined £1,700.

The court heard that the company had a lack of management supervision, there were no mandatory risk assessments, staff were not trained and basic safety measures were not in place. 

Paul Shinn had also not carried out a risk assessment.

In court the Judge Madge said that no causal link between the Health and Safety breaches and the fatal accident had been established and the out-of-hours incident had taken place without the knowledge of the company or management.

The judge reiterated the importance of Health and Safety in court and said that it is not a bureaucratic hindrance and compliance is important to prevent loss of life and serious injury.

The Company was also ordered to pay a contribution towards costs of £4,000.

Councillor Mick Martin, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s cabinet member for environmental services, said: "This has been an incredibly difficult period for Suzanne’s family and our thoughts have been with them throughout. 

It was absolutely right for the Council to pursue a prosecution under Health and Safety legislation as the company had not met their responsibilities. 

We have a responsibility to our residents and our job has been to investigate the case, present the facts to the courts, and it has been for them to rule on the outcome."

Peterborough Raceway Limited no longer operates the site at Caxton.