News

'There are children without a father, parents without a son'

ANGLO Coal failed Ian Downes when he was killed working on part of the Grasstree mine that had not been inspected for a year, a court has ruled.

Anglo Coal was fined $284,000 in Brisbane Magistrates Court on Friday after the company pleaded guilty to failing to provide a safe workplace leading to Mr Downes's death.

At about 11.30pm on December 11, 2014, Mr Downes and a colleague were working on an underground wall when part of it came away, striking and killing Mr Downes.

The area had been opened for work despite not having been properly inspected. That part of the mine had been closed and not used for about a year.

The court heard some of the bolts reinforcing the wall were rusted, others were bent and some were missing entirely. Other parts of the wall reinforcement were not properly attached.

Magistrate Nerida Wilson said Anglo had failed Mr Downes.

"It was incumbent on Anglo to make sure the (work area) was not opened until it was inspected and was safe for work," she said.

"He was entitled to believe that he was safe, he was entitled to believe Anglo had carried out its obligations and inspected the area."

Magistrate Wilson accepted Anglo barrister Thomas Bradley's submission that the company should be penalised for the failure to make the area safe - not for Mr Downes's death.

It was the second death in Grasstree mine that year. Anglo was fined $135,000 after pleading guilty to the same offence leading to Paul McGuire's May 2014 death.

Magistrate Wilson said a statement from Mr Downes's wife showed how his death was more than just an industrial event.

"It is safe to say (Mr Downes's wife) is grieving. There are children without a father, parents without a son," she said.

Despite both Mr Bradley and prosecutor Elizabeth Wilson suggesting a $200,000 fine as penalty, the magistrate ruled that amount did not reflect the seriousness of the offence nor that it was Anglo's second conviction for an unsafe workplace causing a death at Grasstree.

But the magistrate accepted the offence would have been more serious if a company intentionally breached the laws or ordered employees to forego safety requirements.

Anglo was fined $284,625 - half the maximum penalty - and a conviction was recorded against the company.

Anglo did not respond to a request for comment, but last week said the company was determined to ensure Mr Downes's death was not repeated.

ARM NEWSDESK

Topics:  anglo american anglo coal court death grasstree mine ian downes workplace death


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Change of scenery needed for city drug addict, court told

Cops previously caught Wilton after a wild and reckless ride in Ipswich

Prolific offending, wild driving linked to drug abuse, court hears

Monthly shoot right on target

HIGH GUN WINNERS: Mary Anne Easton, Geoff Moore, Lee Bland, Nicky Robertson, Will Bradfield and Mitch Twidale after the event.

Strong competition at the shoot

Frillies foil the Uni boys

WINNERS ARE GRINNERS: The Frillnecks put on an excellent display on Saturday, taking down the Uni side.

Ladies' Day brings the big crowds

Local Partners

Beauty blogger’s horribly racist product review

A POPULAR beauty blogger and model has come under fire for using a racist slur in a recent post.

Outrage as Ninja Warrior cuts Australia's fittest man

Adelaide’s James Newbury was mysteriously cut from the Ninja Warrior broadcast.

Australia's fittest man wasn’t good enough for Ninja Warrior.

Maggie's whirlwind trip around Japan

Maggie Beer pictured in a scene from her TV special Maggie in Japan.

Cooking icon serves up the best of Japanese cuisine in new TV show.

Exploring our complex relationship with the Southern Cross

Warwick Thornton in a scene from his documentary film We Don't Need A Map.

Filmmaker Warwick Thornton explores national identity, nationalism.

Ben will be cooking with Oma

Masterchef 2017 contestant Ben Ungermann.

MASTERCHEF'S last man standing will draw on his Dutch heritage.

Prince Charles and Camilla heading for Qld

Prince Charles and Camilla

It promises to be a holiday fit for a King

Eddie McGuire to come back as Footy Show co-host

Eddie McGuire at the Million Dollar Lunch annual fundraiser for the Children's Cancer Foundation in Melbourne, Friday, Aug. 6, 2015. (AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy) NO ARCHIVING

Footy Show axes Craig Hutchison, Sam Newman survives

Mum buys $900,000 apartment for her 8-year-old son

Tania Katsanis beat another couple of homeowners to secure the winning bid.

The apartment was a 'bargain' as the property market bottoms out

Townhouses planned for Nicklin Way site

CBRE's Brendan Robins and Rem Rafter on site at Wurtulla.

Prime 1.5ha Sunshine Coast property set for town homes development

Owner tells of ghostly goings on at old Mackay pub

GHOST STORIES: Several people have died at the Mirani Hotel

Owner says pub is 'definitely haunted'

Developers 'pushing the envelope' with subdivisions

Darren Boettcher.

"When I said the block couldn't be subdivided, he just walked out"

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!