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Sister of dead electrician backs culpable homicide bill

Conrad Landin is in Holyrood

THE sister of an electrician killed at work has backed a proposed law which would give families new ways to pursue corporate killers.

Louise Taggart, whose brother Michael Adamson was killed in 2005, said Labour MSP Claire Baker’s culpable homicide bill would “plug the justice deficit.”

Mr Adamson was just 26 when he was electrocuted while connecting live wires which had been marked “not in use.”

Three years later his employers, Mitie Engineering Services (Edinburgh), were found guilty of breaching safety laws and fined £300,000. But the case against three company bosses did not reach a jury.

Currently companies can be convicted of safety failings, but it is much harder to get employers found guilty of culpable homicide.

Ms Baker said her proposal would allow families to pursue such charges, ensuring “appropriate legal remedies for loss of life.”

Ms Taggart, who is a trustee of campaigning charity Scottish Hazards, said her family had seen “very little in the way of justice” after years pursuing the case in the courts.

“This Bill would not only plug the justice deficit faced by families such as mine, but would importantly serve as a deterrent to those who treat health and safety as a burden on business or a tiresome impediment to getting a job done,” Ms Taggart said.

She appealed to MSPs to “put aside party politics, and get behind this Bill which is about justice, prevention and family.”

Launching the consultation on the Bill at the Scottish Hazards conference yesterday, Ms Baker said: “New legal avenues for prosecution and statutory punishments would send a clear message to employers that health and safety must be the number one priority for any business.”

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