Man using falsified public liability insurance documents fined

A man found to be using falsified public liability insurance documents has been issued a fine and had his 36 week prison sentence suspended as a result of an employee suffering a serious injury during a wedding reception in 2009.

The injured party, who had been not issued any protective equipment such as goggles or gloves, had been tasked with setting off fireworks as part of a reception display.

At the court proceedings, the prosecutor stated that the injured party, identified as Mr Hignell, received no guidance in terms of safety procedures or risk assesment, declined a hard hat that had been offered to him, and was only dressed in a pair of overalls when the firework hit him directly in the face after he lighted it as per his employer’s instructions.  Additionally the prosecutor added that due to the failure on the defendant’s part to cooperate with the courts, the cost to the taxpayer had already amounted to £19,000.

The defendant, who had fraudulently obtained his public liability documentation, had been purchasing professional-grade fireworks and putting on organised shows and displays; he obtained the falsified documents by printing certificates he had applied for over the Internet before the employers liability insurance firms could deny him the insurance cover.

The man continued to conduct business as an organised fireworks display provider until this past July; the recent sentence handed down by the courts reflected this fact in its severity.

The court, which heard testimony from Mr Hignell regarding having nearly 20 surgical procedures over 75 hospitalisations to treat his partial blindness and to reconstruct his facial features, ordered the defendant to pay £5,000 in compensatory damages to Mr Hignell in addition to banning the defendant from either working at or organising any sort of firework displays until 2012.

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