Emergency

Firm fined £80K over lighting which led to death of pensioner

A blurred picture of an old man
Frank Finnie’s body was found at the bottom of a fire escape stairwell at Aberdeen Market by a police officer who was investigating his disappearance.  Credit: Police Scotland

A COMPANY has been fined £80,000 for not maintaining the lighting in a fire escape which led to death of an 80-year-old pensioner.

The Market Village Company Limited admitted failings which resulted in the death of Frank Finnie, who was found at the bottom of a stairwell in an indoor market in Aberdeen.

The firm, which operated Aberdeen Market, pled guilty to a contravention of Section 72(3) of the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 between 1 June 2017 and 9 June 2018.

The company was convicted at Aberdeen Sheriff Court after the fatal incident within Aberdeen Market on 7 June 2018.

The court heard that Finnie was reported as a missing person by care workers at his sheltered housing accommodation on 8 June 2018. 

On 9 June 2018 Mr Finnie’s body was found at the bottom of a fire escape stairwell at Aberdeen Market by a police officer who was investigating his disappearance. 

The investigation found that the company which managed Aberdeen Market had failed to ensure a suitable system of maintenance was in place and in particular failed to maintain the lighting within the south middle fire escape stairwell.

The circumstances surrounding the death of Mr Finnie were jointly investigated by Police Scotland and Aberdeen City Council.

The investigation found that the company had failed to ensure a suitable system of maintenance was in place and in particular failed to maintain the lighting within the south middle fire escape stairwell.

The consequence of the company’s failure was the death of Mr Finnie. 

Alistair Duncan, head of the Health and Safety Investigation Unit, Crown Office, said:

‘This fatal incident was entirely foreseeable and could have been avoided had Market Village ensured that the lighting in the fire escape stairwell had been properly maintained.

‘The family of Frank Finnie must live with the consequences of the company’s failings

‘While Market Village has taken effective steps to remedy the deficiency in the maintenance of the fire escape stairwell this conviction and sentence should serve as a reminder to other companies to adhere to the regulations and that failure to do so can have tragic consequences.’

The Market Village Company Limited admitted failings which resulted in the death of Frank Finnie, who was found at the bottom of a stairwell in an indoor market in Aberdeen.

A blurred picture of an old man