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Firework Firm Boss Pleads Guilty

Man Blinded In Work Accident



A firework company owner, whose employee was blinded in one eye at a display two years ago, has pleaded guilty to offences relating to the incident.

On Monday at Bristol Crown Court, owner of JWP Fireworks, Jason Edgecombe, pleaded guilty to health and safety offences and fraud relating to the incident.

Before the hearing this week, officers from Bath and North East Somerset Council's Health and Safety and Trading Standards teams investigated what happened on the night in May 2008.

At the hearing, Edgecombe, of Northcote Road, Mangotsfield, pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety legislation.

The investigation also highlighted fraud offences relating to the incident at Chewton Place, Keynsham, which left one of his employees blind in one eye.

The court heard that Mr Edgecombe had only been able to buy the firework that caused the accident because he had shown a forged public liability insurance certificate to a large fireworks company. He pleaded guilty to three charges of fraud in relation to a forged public liability insurance certificate.

Mr Edgecombe was handed unconditional bail and is due to be sentenced in August. Earlier in the course of the investigation, Mr Edgecombe was prosecuted and fined for failing to co-operate with the investigation into the accident.

Copyright © Press Association 2010

Jo Darlington from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: “This is a case of a serious injury in the workplace which appears to have been entirely avoidable. This was compounded by Mr Edgecombe’s failure to cooperate with the authorities and fraudulent behaviour. It is worth noting despite the fact there appears to be no insurance in place to meet a claim for the injured employees blindness he may be able to bring a claim against Mr Edgecombe personally if he has sufficient means to compensate his victim.”