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Hatfield Trial: Jury begins second day

The jury trying five rail bosses and Network Rail - accused of breaching safety standards in the months before the Hatfield rail disaster - are considering their verdicts for a second day.
The jury of eleven men and one woman retired yesterday, but were sent home without reaching any verdict.

Four people died and 102 were injured when the King's Cross to Leeds train came off the tracks at 115mph on October 17 2000.

The prosecution has alleged the derailment occurred because of a cavalier approach to safety.

The defence argued it was unfair to make the five rail executives scapegoats.

They worked in an under-funded industry which had been neglected by governments for more than 40 years, Jonathan Goldberg QC, defending one of the men, has told the court.

The five rail chiefs and Network Rail, formerly Railtrack, deny health and safety charges.

The individual defendants accused are: Balfour Beatty Rail

Maintenance Limited regional director Anthony Walker, 48; Nicholas Jeffries, 50, civil engineer for the same firm; Railtrack North Eastern managers Alistair Cook, 52, and Sean Fugill, 52, and Railtrack LNE track engineer Keith Lea, 55.

Engineering giant Balfour Beatty admitted earlier that it breached safety standards before the disaster. But the company did not accept all that the prosecution alleged against them.

The company has been formally cleared by Mr Justice Mackay of a corporate manslaughter charge. The judge has also cleared the five rail bosses of unlawfully killing the four who died.

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