Olivia Burt died when a metal fence, against which she and her friends were queuing, collapsed outside Missoula Nightclub in Durham City Centre on 7 February 2018.
Four years after Olivia’s death, Durham County Council have brought Health and Safety charges against Stonegate Pub Company Limited, who owned Missoula Nightclub. Olivia’s parents, Nigel and Paula Burt comment:
We welcome the decision by Durham County Council to charge Stonegate Pub Company with four health and safety offences under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Four long years after Olivia’s death, we now await the outcome of the health and safety prosecution. We do not understand how our only child died on a night out with friends.
At today’s mention hearing before HM Assistant Coroner for County Durham and Darlington, Mr Oliver Longstaff, the Coroner, stayed Olivia’s inquest for the health and safety prosecution to take place.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) previously investigated criminal charges of gross negligence and corporate manslaughter following Olivia’s death. However, the CPS confirmed on 3 September 2020 that there was insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction.
Nigel and Paula Burt are represented by partner Anna-Louise Thwaites of Bindmans LLP.
Olivia Burt, from Milford on Sea, was a gifted and beautiful young woman who inspired others. She was head girl at her school, Bournemouth School for Girls, and represented Great Britain in sailing. Only 20 years old, she was killed on 7 February 2018 in Durham, where she was a first-year student studying Natural Sciences at Durham University.
She was just embarking on a journey that would have doubtless seen her leaving a lasting mark on our world. But more than this, everyone who knew Olivia remembers her smile and her kindness, and how she inspired others.
Since then, Olivia’s parents, Nigel and Paula Burt have faced the additional trauma of their daughter being trolled on Facebook. This resulted in the November 2018 conviction and imprisonment of the perpetrator.
Olivia’s parents have founded a charity, Olivia Inspires, to allow their daughter’s spirit to live on by helping disadvantaged young people in the New Forest. Visit the charity’s website here: www.oliviainspires.org.uk