Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Jury out in architect's legionnaires' trial

  • Comment
The jury trying a council architect charged with the manslaughter of seven people who died in Britain's worst outbreak of legionnaires' disease has retired to consider its verdict.

Gillian Beckingham, 46, was in charge of the upkeep of the air-conditioning system at the Forum 28 arts centre in Barrow, Cumbria, when it spewed deadly bacteria into the air, Preston Crown Court heard.

Six women and one man died and a further 172 people were infected during the outbreak in July and August 2002.

Beckingham, a married mother from Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria, denies the unlawful killing of Richard Macauley, 89, Wendy Milburn, 56, Georgina Somerville, 54, Harriet Low, 74, Elizabeth Dixon, 80, June Miles, 56, and Christine Merewood, 55.

Beckingham, who was born in York and trained at the School of Architecture in Leeds, also denies breaching health and safety laws.

The jury of eight women and four men retired at 10.10am yesterday (19 April) to continue considering its verdict after six hours of deliberation.

Barrow Borough Council, which owns Forum 28 and employed Beckingham as its head of design services, has already pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety At Work Act, but was cleared of manslaughter midway through the trial.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.

Related Jobs