Fireworks provider charged with manslaughter is released on bail
A FIREWORKS provider charged with manslaughter over the deaths of seven people on the M5 has been released on bail after appearing at court today.
Seven people died, including Kye Thomas from Gunnislake, 51 were injured and 34 vehicles collided in the incident on the M5 in Somerset on November 4 last year.
Geoffrey Robert Counsell, 50, from Somerset, provided fireworks for a display close to the motorway.
Counsell, of Ashill, Somerset, appeared for the first time at Bristol Magistrates' Court this morning.
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Counsell, who runs Firestorm Pyrotechnics, was charged last month over alleged failings in the planning and operation of the display.
Dressed in a black shirt, tie and suit, he spoke only to confirm his name and address and no pleas to the seven counts of manslaughter were entered.
Counsell is accused of causing the death of Bristol man Terry Brice, Anthony and Pamela Adams from South Wales, Kye Thomas from Cornwall, Malcolm Beacham from Somerset, Valerie and Michael Barton from Berkshire.
He will appear before at Bristol crown court on December 4.
In a joint statement released last month, Avon and Somerset Police and the Crown Prosecution Service said no action would be taken against individual motorists or the rugby club.
They said: "Since the collision we have worked closely together to thoroughly investigate the circumstances of the collision and to carefully consider all the evidence."
They added: "It was clear from the investigation carried out by Avon and Somerset Police that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute for driver error and therefore no action will be taken against any motorists."