Icepak director pleads guilty

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Icepak Coolstores director Wayne Grattan pleaded guilty to a charge arising from last year’s fatal fire at Tamahere in the Hamilton District Court today but charges are to be withdrawn against two other directors.

Wayne Grattan
Wayne Grattan

Icepak Coolstores Ltd and Tauranga-based Mobile Refrigeration Specialists earlier pleaded guilty to charges laid by the Labour Department under the Health and Safety in Employment Act following the April 5, 2008 blast and fire that killed firefighter Derek Lovell and seriously injured seven other firemen.

The court heard that the Labour Department will withdraw charges against Icepak directors Jan van Eden and Iain Slight. Charges have already been withdrawn against Warren Cook, employed by Mobile Refrigeration Specialists.

Judge Robert Spear scheduled a hearing for November 24 on facts of the case disputed between Icepak and Mobile Refrigeration. He also said a restorative justice or compensation process would be undertaken in which he wanted to hear from the injured firemen and their families.

Merv Neil, the most badly injured firefighter, who was in court, said it was the first time he had heard of compensation from the company.

Sentencing is expected to occur on Monday, December 14.

No Icepak directors were in court today.

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