Stoke & Staffordshire

Stafford fireworks factory blaze: Owner to face trial

The factory fire Image copyright Jodiphotography
Image caption SP Plastics in Baswich, Stafford, was destroyed on 30 October 2014

The owner of a fireworks factory that was destroyed in a blaze which killed two men is to go on trial next year.

Richard Pearson, 43, owned SP Plastics in Baswich, Stafford, which caught fire on 30 October 2014.

Simon Hillier, 41, and Stewart Staples, 57, both of Hednesford, died in the blaze.

Mr Pearson denied two counts of gross negligence manslaughter at Stafford Crown Court. A trial has been scheduled for April.

Image copyright Staffordshire Police
Image caption Stewart Staples (L) and Simon Hillier (R) died in the fire

Mr Hillier was an employee at the factory while Mr Staples was a customer.

At its height, more than 50 firefighters tackled the blaze, which broke out at about 17:00 BST and burned for hours.

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