Skip to content

Ben Compton QC secures acquittal for the Port of London Authority


The Port of London Authority (“the PLA”) have been acquitted at Snaresbrook Crown Court of a serious maritime safety offence arising out of the sinking of the Chiefton tug and death of a crew member on 12 August 2011.

The prosecution accused the PLA of failing to adequately and safely plan the tow of the Skyline Barge by the Chiefton and Steven B tug boats during a passage down the River Thames between 9 August and 12 August. The PLA maintained that in the particular circumstances the risk of the Chiefton sinking was not a material risk and in any event, the evidence showed the PLA had done all that was reasonably practicable to make the passage safe.

After a 7 week trial before Thornton J, and following the expert evidence of seven maritime experts, the jury unanimously found the PLA not guilty.

Ben Compton QC appeared as leading counsel, instructed by Tim Williamson of Foot Anstey on behalf of the PLA.

Barristers: Ben Compton QC
Categories: News