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Fireworks display organiser in court on M5 crash manslaughter charges

By This is Somerset  |  Posted: November 12, 2012

Flowers left on a bridge near the scene of the M5 crash last November

A fireworks display organiser has appeared in court charged with seven counts of manslaughter over last November's M5 crash near Taunton.

Geoffrey Robert Counsell, 50, had been operating a pyrotechnic display held at Taunton Rugby Club, near the motorway where a multi-vehicle pile-up happened on November 4, 2011.

Counsell, of Ashill, Somerset, appeared for the first time at Bristol Magistrates' Court this morning.

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.

Counsell was given unconditional bail and will next appear before Bristol Crown Court on December 4.

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