The company pleaded guilty before magistrates in Thetford to breaches of the health & safety regulations. The court heard that an employee had lost the tips of the fingers of one hand after becoming trapped as he changed the mould on a packing machine.
A subsequent investigation by the HSE showed that the guard from the machine was missing. The court was told that the company had previously been warned by the HSE over safety at the plant.
In mitigation for Tulip, it was said that safety measures at the plant had now been upgraded. Magistrates then ruled that Tulip's offences were beyond their sentencing powers and sent the case to Norwich Crown Court where heavier fines can be imposed.