Pub chain pleads not guilty in trial over Durham student Olivia Burt’s death

It has denied breaching health and safety laws

A pub chain has pleaded not guilty to breaching health and safety laws after the death Olivia Burt one of its clubs.

In February of this year, four years after the tragic death of Olivia Burt, Durham County Council brought four charges against Stonegate Pub Company, the UK’s largest pub chain.

Olivia Burt, a first year Durham University student, died outside Missoula in the Walkergate complex which is now known as Slug and Lettuce.

In the trial which took place at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court this week, Stonegate Pub Company pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against it which include breach of health and safety laws.

Durham County Council is prosecuting the company. The fencing and crowd control measures, put into place by Stonegate Pub Company, of being “decorative” and “inadequate”. The pub is also charged with failing to identify the “risk to patrons” being made to queue alongside a barrier that was not constructed nor installed for crowd control.

Olivia who was friendly and well-known amongst the Durham University community died after a queue crush involving a fallen barrier. Olivia Burt’s parents, who attended the trial remotely, continue to ask “how [their] only child died on a night out with friends.”

The next hearing is due to take place on May 18th at Durham Crown Court. District Judge Helen Cousins said: “In a case where there has been a fatality, it is of a very complex nature, it is clearly high profile and exceptionally sensitive – my view is that this is a matter best dealt with in the crown court.”

More on Olivia Burt’s case:

Pub chain charged over the death of Durham student Olivia Burt

A Durham student has been crushed to death in a nightclub queue