MRS drip feeds fine

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The Tauranga-based refrigeration company fined more than $56,000 over the Icepak coolstore explosion at Tamahere will pay off its fine at the rate of $50 a week.

Mobile Refrigeration Specialists (MRS) was back in the Hamilton District Court last week seeking to have part of its fine remitted on the grounds of financial hardship, reported the Waikato Times.

MRS and Icepak Coolstores were fined $56,200 and $37,200 respectively when sentenced last December by Judge Robert Spear.

Both companies were unsuccessful in appealing their sentences to the High Court.

The Court of Appeal later declined an MRS application for special leave to appeal.

MRS was responsible for the installation of a hydrocarbon-based refrigerant in the Icepak coolstores which exploded in April 2008, killing fireman Derek Lovell and injuring seven of his colleagues.

MRS counsel Shane Elliott asked that part or all of the company’s fines be remitted because of financial hardship.

Judge Spear said the company’s accounts appeared to show the company did not have the resources to pay the fine in one lump sum.

The company’s insurance had enabled it to pay $175,000 reparation to the victims.

After proceedings were stood down to allow Mr Elliott to take instructions from MRS director Warren Cook, Judge Spear announced the company had agreed to pay off its fine at $50 a week through to February 2013, when the company’s financial position would be reviewed again.

The judge said that if the company’s position remained constrained he would look to have MRS pay off a portion of the fine over a further 12 months and have the balance remitted.

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