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Home>Premises>Lighting>Company fined £80,000 for fatal failings

Company fined £80,000 for fatal failings

29 July 2020

A COMPANY has admitted failings which resulted in the death of an 80 year-old man who was found at the bottom of a stairwell in an indoor market in Aberdeen.

The Market Village Company Limited, which operated Aberdeen Market, pled guilty to a contravention of Section 72(3) of the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 between 1 June 2017 and 9 June 2018.

The company was fined £80,000 at Aberdeen Sheriff Court after the fatal incident within Aberdeen Market on 7 June 2018.

The court heard that Frank Finnie was reported as a missing person by care workers at his sheltered housing accommodation on 8 June 2018. 

On 9 June 2018 Mr Finnie’s body was found at the bottom of a fire escape stairwell at Aberdeen Market by a police officer who was investigating his disappearance. 

The circumstances surrounding the death of Mr Finnie were jointly investigated by Police Scotland and Aberdeen City Council.

The investigation found that the company had failed to ensure a suitable system of maintenance was in place and in particular failed to maintain the lighting within the south middle fire escape stairwell.

The consequence of the company’s failure was the death of Mr Finnie. 

Alistair Duncan, Head of the Health and Safety Investigation Unit, Crown Office, said, “This fatal incident was entirely foreseeable and could have been avoided had Market Village ensured that the lighting in the fire escape stairwell had been properly maintained.

"The family of Frank Finnie must live with the consequences of the company’s failings

“While Market Village has taken effective steps to remedy the deficiency in the maintenance of the fire escape stairwell this conviction and sentence should serve as a reminder to other companies to adhere to the regulations and that failure to do so can have tragic consequences.”