Tram crash driver could face Old Bailey trial early next year

Facing trial: Alfred Dorris

Alfred Dorris, the driver of the tram that crashed at Sandilands in November 2016, is to stand trial, possibly at the Old Bailey, early in 2023.

Dorris appeared at a preliminary hearing at Croydon Crown Court yesterday morning, where he pleaded not guilty to charges of breaking health and safety laws that led to the derailment.

Seven people died and 61 passengers were injured, 19 of those seriously, on the tram travelling from New Addington into Croydon early on the morning of November 9, 2016.

Dorris, 48, from Beckenham, is accused of failing as an employee to take reasonable care of passengers.

He was released on unconditional bail after the appearance in court before Mr Justice Fraser, who applied for the trial to take place at the Old Bailey, or Southwark Crown Court, as soon as is possible.

Proceedings over the tram crash, including the much-criticised inquest which was held last year, have been much delayed, including by covid.

Transport for London and Tram Operations Limited indicated guilty pleas over health and safety failings at an earlier hearing.

A manslaughter or corporate manslaughter case was ruled out by the Crown Prosecution Service in 2019. This latest prosecution was brought by the Office for Rail and Road.

The crash resulted in the deaths of Dane Chinnery, Philip Logan, Philip Seary, Dorota Rynkiewicz, Robert Huxley, Mark Smith and Donald Collett.

Read more: Flawed inquest into tram crash is ‘Hillsborough repeating itself’
Read more: Tram crash victims’ families call for retrial after inquest ‘farce’
Read more: No one to blame. Or no one cares? Tram crash case dropped
Read more: TfL safety audit kept secret from crash investigators
Read more: Driver of crashed tram ‘too unwell’ to give evidence at inquest

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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