Fined for lack of tractor safety gear

PUBLISHED: 13:07 22 June 2006 | UPDATED: 11:50 04 May 2010

A COMPANY which failed to put in place fail-safe mechanisms for attaching trailers to tractors was slapped with a £1,500 fine on Thursday. PJ Lee and Sons, one of the biggest farmers in the region, was hit with the penalty by Ely magistrates after a trail

A COMPANY which failed to put in place fail-safe mechanisms for attaching trailers to tractors was slapped with a £1,500 fine on Thursday.

PJ Lee and Sons, one of the biggest farmers in the region, was hit with the penalty by Ely magistrates after a trailer came loose from a tractor on the A1122 at Haddenham.

The driver of the MTX150 McCormick tractor, Lithuanian national Marius Linkevicius, 29, was given a £200 fine, ordered to pay £35 costs and given three penalty points.

Both the company and Linkevicius pleaded guilty to a charge of danger of injury due to condition of a vehicle.

Prosecutor Matthew Bradbury told the court how, on October 8 last year, Linkevicius was driving the tractor between Aldreth

and Haddenham. When approaching Camping Close, the trailer became detached from the

tractor as a result of a faulty

hook mechanism.

The trailer slid down a hill and hit a wall outside a Post Office, gouging some of the brickwork. It also clipped a parked Renault Clio, damaging the driver's side door.

Mitigating, Michael Judkins said: "I hope the magistrates will see this case in its true context.

"P J Lee has fitted fail-safes since then, at considerable cost, and that is not a legal requirement. P J Lee is a respected local business with a good record of safety training and this is the very first time something like this has happened."

Chairman of the bench Mary Rone said: "This could have been an accident which resulted in a very serious situation.

"The company allowed the driver to use the vehicle without a fail-safe mechanism. We are going to fine the company £1,500."

In addition, P J Lee was also ordered to pay £35 costs.

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