Mine deaths firm UK Coal faces £1.2m fines


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The Independent Online

A judge today ordered Britain's biggest mining firm to pay £1.2 million in fines and costs after he heard how four miners died following safety breaches in four separate incidents.

UK Coal admitted offences under health and safety laws in relation to the deaths of Trevor Steeples, Paul Hunt, Anthony Garrigan and Paul Milner.

Mr Steeples, Mr Hunt and Mr Garrigan died following incidents at Daw Mill colliery, near Coventry in 2006 and 2007.

Mr Milner died after an incident at the now-closed Welbeck Colliery, in Nottinghamshire, in 2007.

Mr Justice MacDuff said at Sheffield Crown Court he would not impose a penalty so high it would cripple a company suffering real financial problems.

He said UK Coal would be fined £112,500 in relation to each incident and would pay a further £187,500 in costs in each case.

But he urged the families of the dead men to focus on the total combined financial penalty for the firm.