THE FAMILY of a Barry man that died after falling from a low wall at Sully Sports and Leisure Club have branded the £20,000 handed down to the company that runs the club as “disgusting”.
Barry Plastics Sports and Leisure Ltd, which owns the South Road venue, was found guilty of breaching health and safety laws by failing to provide adequate lighting of the patio area of the club.
Robert 'Bob' Kemp died after falling from a low wall at Sully Sports and Leisure Club following a civil partnership party held at the venue on June 30, 2012.
He suffered a broken neck and died just over a week afterwards.
After a week-long trial a jury found Barry Plastics Sports and Leisure Ltd guilty by a unanimous verdict in under two hours, and they were fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £20,000 within the next 12 months.
Bob Kemp’s only daughter Rachael Saddington welcomed the guilty verdict but said that the £20,000 fine didn’t reflect the cost of her father’s life.
“I think it’s disgusting for the death of my father,” she said.
“I think it’s a bit of an insult to the life of my father.”
She added that she wouldn’t be pursuing compensation through the civil courts as “no money could bring my father back”.
“He died the day before his great grandson’s birthday and he will never see him grow up,” she said.
“Throughout the last two years I have found it really hard to cope with his death.
“Hopefully now that they have been found guilty that will be the end of it.”
Bob Kemp was well-known in the town as a double-glazing salesman on Church Road and as the founder of the Junior Section of the Barry Arts Centre. He was also the beloved partner of Jenny Newland, owner of Hair By Jenny on Barry Road, for nearly 30 years.
Her son Jason Newland, who attended the week-long trial every day with his sister Emily Booker, said that the amount of money the company was fined was “irrelevant”.
“It was never about seeing how much money they got fined,” he said.
“It was just about the verdict for us.
“They were found guilty and we wanted them to accept some sort of responsibility for what happened.”
He added: “As far as the money is concerned it’s not going to make a difference to anybody. If they were fined £100,000 it wouldn’t make them any guiltier. It’s good that the court case has been in the press as people will be aware of it and it will be a warning to companies that they can’t relax on health and safety as it can cost lives at the end of the day.”
Emily Booker added that they were relieved that the court case had now finished and that they could now try to move on.
“I wasn’t interested in going to court and finding out how much they had been fined. I just wanted them to own up and say they were wrong. I just wish we didn’t have to go through a court case as it brought it all back up again,” she said.