Potters Bar rail crash sentencing adjourned overnight

NETWORK Rail will learn its fate over the 2002 Potters Bar derailment tomorrow (Friday), after the judge decided he needed to consider overnight what sentence to hand down.

Judge Andrew Bright QC heard final submissions from the defence and prosecution were delivered at St Albans Crown Court today (Thursday), over the health and safety breaches that led to the crash, which claimed the life of seven people.

Network Rail pleaded guilty in March to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Acting for the Office of Rail Regulation Nicholas Hilliard QC said: “There was an expectation that they [points that led to the derailment] should be maintained properly, but they were not.”

Prashant Popat QC, representing Network Rail, whose predecessor Railtrack were responsible for the disaster, apologised on the company’s behalf.


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He said: “It is recognised that this was a catastrophic incident where seven people tragically lost their lives and many more were injured.”

He added: “Network Rail wishes to express its genuine and deep remorse.”

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Mr Popat also said “lessons had been learned” and changes had been made in terms of safety and track maintenance.

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