Manslaughter charges dropped against organiser of fireworks near the M5
By matt_2009 | Wednesday, January 16, 2013, 09:23
The man who organised the November 4, 2011 firework display at Taunton Rugby Ground – close to the multi-vehicle pileup on the M5 where seven people died – has been cleared of manslaughter.
After further consideration, the Crown Prosecution Service has decided not to go ahead with the manslaughter charges against Geoffrey Counsell, 50. He will now face a separate charge under the Health and Safety Act.
Senior Investigation Officer for the M5 collision, Detective Superintendent Mike Courtiour said: "The collision on the M5 in November 2011 was one of the worst in living memory. Fifty one people were injured and seven people tragically lost their lives. We launched a comprehensive investigation immediately after to establish the full circumstances which led to the collision.
"Our investigation was meticulous and complex. We took hundreds of witness statements, examined 34 vehicles and consulted several experts, including meteorologists, pyrotechnic and forensic specialists.
"Based on this evidence the Crown Prosecution Service took a decision to charge. However, following further consideration in recent weeks they have decided to discontinue the manslaughter charges."