Page last updated at 11:43 GMT, Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Pair to appeal over East Sussex firework blast deaths

Nathan and Martin Winter
Nathan Winter and his father Martin had both denied manslaughter

A father and son jailed over the deaths of two firefighters in a fireworks factory explosion have lodged an appeal against their sentence and conviction.

Martin Winter, 52, of Festival Fireworks UK Ltd, in East Sussex, was jailed for seven years, last year. His son Nathan, 25, got a five-year term.

A date for any appeal hearing has not been set by the Court of Appeal.

Geoff Wicker, 49, and Brian Wembridge, 63, were killed in the fire at Marlie Farm, in Shortgate, in December 2006.

'Grossly negligent'

Both were long-serving members of East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service.

Martin and Nathan Winter were convicted of manslaughter by gross negligence, following a five-week trial at Lewes Crown Court, in December 2009.

Jurors heard they were "grossly negligent" through knowing an unlicensed metal container packed with fireworks could explode if a fire broke out.

Their firm, later called Alpha Fireworks, was convicted of two health and safety breaches in connection with the explosion, which injured 20 others, mainly police and fire officers. The firm was fined £30,000.



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