Private school fined after tree-felling incident

Alpha Schools Limited appeared before Aylesbury Crown Court after a man helping to fell a tree was seriously injured. He was assisting a contractor who was brought in to clear a site, when a cut branch swung down and threw him off his ladder. The school’s owner was ordered to pay fines and costs of £60,000, while Paolo Mule (trading as P&X Complete Cleaning Services) received an 18-month prison sentence suspended for two years.

The injured man, who suffered permanent spinal injuries, was given an ex gratia payment of £50,000 by the school. The court heard that the school failed to select a competent contractor and the contractor had not made an assessment of the risk. No thought had been given to securing the ladder and the work zone was not cordoned off despite members of the public being in the area.

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