Plea likely over fatal fire

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The Labour Department’s case against those charged over the fatal coolstore fire at Tamahere near Hamilton last year has been in court again.

At a hearing in the Hamilton District Court on Friday (June 12) the case was adjourned until the following Friday (June 19) when a decision is likely on whether a disputed facts hearing for Icepak Coolstores Ltd is required or whether it will go straight to a sentencing date.

The department laid charges under the Health and Safety in Employment Act against the company, its three directors, another company, Mobile Refrigeration Specialists, and an employee of that company, Warren Cook.

Icepak pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing but its three directors are maintaining not guilty pleas. A trial date for the three directors, Jan Van Eden, Iain Slight and Wayne Grattan, is tentatively set down for October.

At the next hearing on Friday, Mobile Refrigeration and Warren Cook are likely to make a plea.

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