Driver cleared over Croydon tram crash which killed seven people

The driver in the Croydon tram disaster has been cleared over the crash, which killed seven people.

Alfred Dorris was found not guilty of failing to take “reasonable care” of the health and safety of himself and his passengers.

It follows a trial at the Old Bailey, in which it was alleged that Mr Dorris was driving three times the speed he was supposed to be doing before his tram derailed on a sharp curve at Sandilands, in south London.

The prosecution also alleged that the 49-year-old may have had a “micro-sleep” before the crash in November 2016 – something Mr Dorris denied.

He told the jury – as he first said under caution in 2021 – that environmental factors and infrastructure caused him to become “disoriented” and “confused”.

Mr Dorris, a married father-of-one, told jurors that when the tram tipped he was thrown from his seat, banged his head and that he “must have passed out”.

Seven people died, while 19 others were seriously injured in the crash.

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Danielle Wynne, whose grandfather Philip Logan, 52, was among those killed, described Monday’s not guilty verdict as “deflating”.

“My grandad and this incident will never be forgotten. It’s a date that’s etched into my mind,” she said.

“Our family feels truly let down by the justice system.”

Inquest ruling

The jury deliberated for almost two hours on Monday to reach its unanimous verdict following the prosecution – brought by the Office of Road and Rail (ORR).

Mr Dorris, from Beckenham, southeast London, previously denied a single charge of failing to take reasonable care at work under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

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He was arrested following the crash but has not faced criminal charges.

In July 2021, the jury at an inquest concluded that the victims died as a result of an accident and were not unlawfully killed.

Transport for London (TfL) and Tram Operations Limited (ToL) have previously admitted health and safety offences relating to significant failings ahead of the catastrophic derailment and will be sentenced at a later date.