CPS agree to review prosecution decision in tyre explosion case

Matthew Hoare, of Chartham, died on 27th January 2006, aged 21, while working for Watling Tyres of Canterbury.The CPS Special Crime Division in London decided, in March of last year, that there was insufficient evidence to proceed with manslaughter charges against Watling Tyres Limited and a number of individuals employed by them.

We challenged that decision by way of Judicial Review proceedings brought in June of last year in the High Court.

In October last year, Mr Justice Mitting gave permission for the case to proceed to a full hearing which was listed to take place in the Administrative Court today.

Last month, the CPS indicated that they were not going to contest these proceedings and that they were prepared to quash their existing decision not to prosecute and to consider the case afresh.

Since then we have been negotiating the terms on which their review will take place.

It has been agreed that the case will be reviewed by a Senior Criminal Barrister, a QC, in private practice, independent of the CPS, who will consider the case afresh and advise the CPS within the next 3 months.

On that basis, the High Court yesterday approved a consent order quashing the existing decision and allowing for the review with, whilst providing that the CPS pay the costs of Carolyn Hoare, Matthew’s mother, on whose behalf the case is brought.

Carolyn commented:-

“I am delighted that these judicial review proceedings have been successful.  It is just a shame that we have had to go to such lengths to get Matthew’s case properly considered.   I am pleased, however, at this development and await the new decision with great interest.  All we want is fairness and justice for Matthew”.

Nick Fairweather, of Fairweathers solicitors, of 16 Station Road West, Canterbury, who represents Mrs Hoare, commented:-

“I am very pleased with this review decision.  We always viewed the original decision as flawed.  All we are asking for is a fair objective review of the evidence in the case and that the normal procedures adopted by the CPS in deciding upon prosecutions are adhered to.  I am confident that this is what will now take place.”

21st April 2010

This case was reported in the Canterbury Gazette http://www.kentonline.co.uk/kentish_gazette/news/todays_news.aspx on 22nd April 2010 and also featured as lead story on BBC South East today news that same evening http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/kent/8638331.stm