Somerset

Bath death crash truck owner 'stayed away from paperwork'

The crashed lorry Image copyright Ben Birchall/PA Wire
Image caption The court heard company owner Matthew Gordon say he did not know the brakes on the truck had to be tested four times a year

A haulage company owner whose tipper truck killed four people when its brakes failed admitted he "used to stay away from paperwork", a court heard.

Mitzi Steady, four, Robert Parker, 59, Philip Allen, 52, and Stephen Vaughan, 34, died in the crash in Bath in 2015.

Bristol Crown Court heard Matthew Gordon, of Grittenham Haulage Ltd, did not know the brakes had to be tested four times a year.

Mr Gordon, 30, of Dauntsey, Wiltshire denies 14 charges against him.

'No manager'

Driver Phillip Potter, 20, denies causing the deaths by dangerous and careless driving.

The lorry hit several pedestrians, including Mitzi from Bath, and a car containing Mr Allen and Mr Vaughan, both from Swansea, and Mr Parker, from Cwmbran, south Wales.

The trial has previously heard Mr Gordon had been told the truck had faulty brakes by other employees.

The jury heard Grittenham Haulage did not have a transport manager in its employ at the time of the crash despite it being a legal requirement.

Previous tachograph offences

Mr Gordon said he thought he had "six months grace" to find one.

He said that during that time, checks had been done on the vehicles and he would be alerted to any problems by the drivers either verbally or by text.

He agreed that he had pleaded guilty at Bath Magistrates Court in August last year to eight offences of failing to keep his tachograph records up to date - and 33 similar offences by his company.

Image caption Phillip Potter (l), Peter Wood (centre) and Matthew Gordon (r) are charged in connection with the deaths of four people

Mr Potter, also of Dauntsey, is also charged with causing serious injuries to Karla Brennan and Margaret Rogers - Mitzi's grandmother - by dangerous driving.

He denies a total of 10 charges against him.

Peter Wood, 55, from Brinkworth, Wiltshire, a mechanic who carried out safety checks on the truck, denies four charges against him.

The trial continues.

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