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Information Note

Full Judicial Review Hearing concerning the adequacy of an inquest into a work-related death starts Monday

The High Court begins a two day hearing on Monday 21 July which will decide whether a new inquest should be held into death of Stephane Aineto.

Mr Aineto, a 28 year old French man, was killed in Brighton in July 2001 when he was run over by a Council refuse truck.

John Halford of Bindman and Partners, the family's solicitor, said:

"This is a critical test case about answers, accountability, and human rights. The Police accept that they have no answers as to how Stephane came to his death. The Coroner had no answers for his family either at the inquest. It then emerged that Stephane's death should have been reported to the Health and Safety Executive, and we are arguing that, in those circumstances, the Executive should have been involved in the inquest and there should have been a jury. It was then reported that there had been warnings about the design of the vehicle which ran him over. A local Trades union claims it warned SITA that the lack of a safety bar between the front and rear wheels was hazardous to pedestrians. It
was between those very sets of wheels that Stephane was crushed to death. We say that should have been explored by the Coroner, as should the question of whether the Council did all it could to ensure SITA (the company carrying out the refuse collection on behalf of the council) operated safely. The Human Rights Act requires the State to ensure that everyone's right to life is protected by law, and where the state is involved in a death, it is properly and fully investigated. We are asking the High Court to enforce this right, hold the Coronor to account for her errors, and to ensure that all of the evidence that has emerged since her inquest is properly examined. Only then can lessons be learned and proper respect shown to Stephane's memory and his grieving family."

At the first inquest held in December 2001, the coroner concluded that Stephane’s death was an ‘accident’. She added that ‘why this happened one cannot say’.

However the inquest was held:

without a jury - when there should have been one;
without the involvement of the Health and Safety Executive - although the HSE is now conducing a criminal investigation;
without hearing evidence from the council - although they are responsible for the refuse collection in the city;
without hearing evidence that the GMB trade union had raised concerns about the safety of the vehicle involved in the death

The Centre for Corporate Accountability has been providing the family with advice and assistance through its ‘Work-related Death Advice Service’ and put the family in contact with the Public Law Project which initiated proceedings, (now taken over by Bindman solicitors.)

Previous Press Releases

20 Feb 2003 Solicitor General Gives Permission for Legal Challenge
15 Aug 2002 Judicial Review Launched to hold new Inquest

For Further Information:

John Halford, Bindman and Partners 7833 4433
David Bergman, CCA 020 7 490 4494
Ron Trussel (Family Friend) rontrussell@lineone.net


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Notes to Editors
  1. The Centre for Corporate Accountability is an independent non-profit advice and research group concerned with promoting worker and public safety.


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Page last updated on January 11, 2004