Sailesh Mehta has interviewed Karen Galloway, a solicitor for North Yorkshire County Council about issues faced by lawyers in serious fire cases.
The video interview focuses on a fire prosecution relating to a 2009 fire in a block of flats in North Yorkshire which resulted in the death of two young jockeys. The challenging and complicated case saw powers under Article 27 exercised, expert advice around disclosure sought and to identify the right offences and responsible person before going on to prosecute. The trial resulted in an early guilty plea for four safety offences and a 12 month prison sentence- the longest sentence handed down in a fire services prosecution case at that time.
Karen Galloway is a solicitor for North Yorkshire County Council, who, from 2008, has advised North Yorkshire Police Fire and Crime Commissioner Fire and Rescue Authority on enforcement matters, undertaking prosecutions on their behalf. She said:
“One of the most important things from our perspective is to avoid a lengthy and costly trial. The whole purpose of carefully gathering all the evidence, laying it all out, and making sure that all leads have been followed is to ensure we’re left with a very compact set of facts. From this there should be no room for manoeuvre which can then be used as a mechanism for obtaining an early guilty plea”.
Sailesh Mehta specialises in regulatory law, including fire law. He advises companies and their directors, as well as fire services across the country on aspects of law and policy. Sailesh prosecutes and defends, particularly in fatality cases. He leads the Red Lion Chambers’ Fire Law Team who offer expert, business focused, robust advice and advocacy. The Team represents corporations, company directors, UK fire and rescue authorities, as well as public and investigatory bodies. Learn more: [Fire Law]
Watch video here: [Youtube]