Manchester Airport responds to sentencing of Graham Benbrow and Judge Bernard Lever's comments


A Manchester Airport spokesman said: “We are committed to ensuring our colleagues have a safe and secure working environment.

“That is why we condemn the reckless actions of the driver involved in this case, which could easily have had very serious consequences for one of our colleagues.

“Given the severity of this incident, we are deeply concerned by the outcome of the case, which we believe shows complete disregard for the ordeal suffered by a member of our staff.

“It is, in our view, irresponsible for someone in a position of authority to be sending this kind of message to road users about the consequences of dangerous driving.

“Anyone who has experienced an attack of this nature would be appalled by the Judge’s comments and attitude towards determining a suitable punishment for criminal driving.

“Drop-off charges, which have been in place at airports across the UK for many years, have been proven to have a positive impact on congestion on our site, which makes it particularly disappointing the Judge’s comments have been made without an attempt to understand the reasons behind their introduction, the way in which they operate and the free alternatives available to passengers.

“Our immediate focus is on the welfare of the colleague who was the victim of this appalling incident, but we are considering our next steps in relation to the sentencing of the offender concerned.

“We will also be working closely with Greater Manchester Police to ensure any future incidents of criminal driving on our site will be dealt with as strictly as possible.”

Joshua Harris, director of campaigns at Brake, the road safety charity, said: “The comments of the judge in this case are wholly inappropriate. Mr Benbow’s driving was clearly dangerous and must be condemned as such. Comments which aim to rationalise his behaviour only diminish the seriousness of the crime and belittle efforts to improve road safety.”