Durham County Cricket Club Stand Collapse – Private Prosecution

Dec 21, 2021

Paul Rooney and Jamie Hill QC represented Durham County Council (DCC), in a private prosecution against Durham County Cricket Club. The case related to a major incident, which occurred during an International Test Match in September 2017. Failures by the club led to a section of a stand collapsing at their Chester-le- Street ground, resulting in a spectator suffering serious and significant injuries.

Paul was instructed to advise DCC during the investigation stage which included the gathering of witness statements, exhibits, unused material and expert reports, as well as advising on the appropriate charges under the Health and Safety at Work Act.

Once charges were laid and the matter sent to the Crown Court, the Cricket Club instructed Queens Counsel to defend their interests, consequently Jamie Hill QC was instructed by DCC and joined the prosecution team.

Following protracted negotiations, the Cricket Club pleaded guilty to failing to discharge their duties to a person other than their employees.

HHJ Crowson sitting at Teesside Crown Court sentenced the Cricket Club, he imposed a fine of £18,000.00 and ordered the Cricket Club to pay the prosecution costs of £94,132.00.

Media reports: BBC, Chronicle, Northern Echo.