The man who established a construction worker blacklist accessed by some of the industry’s biggest companies has today been given a £5,000 fine.
Ian Kerr – who operated a secret database of more than 3,000 names through the Consulting Association – will, however, received a three month prison sentence if he does not pay the fine within 28 days. He was also ordered to pay costs of £1,187.20.
The sentence has sparked anger from lobbyists, with construction union Ucatt having claimed he deserved “the maximum fine possible”.
Ucatt general secretary Alan Ritchie said: “He ruined people’s lives.”
The case had earlier been committed to the Knutsford Crown Court because Macclesfield Magistrates Court ruled the maximum fine they could levy – of £5,000 – was “wholly inadequate”.
In May, Mr Kerr pleaded guilty to offences under the Data Protection Act. At the Crown Court, he had faced an unlimited fine.
Much of the information on the Consulting Association blacklist database contained details of whether workers were members of trade unions and if they had raised health and safety concerns on previous sites.