Kerryn O'Connor died as a result of electrocution on February 28, 2017.
Kerryn O'Connor died as a result of electrocution on February 28, 2017.

'Blatantly inadequate': Magistrate slams pump which caused woman’s death

The parents of a dead Townsville woman wept outside court after a magistrate slashed a fine for a director of a company who sold their daughter a defective water pump.

Kerryn O'Connor was found lifeless with a "KASA Deep Diver Pump" strung across her body in the early hours of March 1, 2017.

She had been electrocuted and an investigation by the Queensland Electrical Safety Office found that the pump failed to comply with ­Australian standards for electrical safety and as such a nationwide ­recall was ordered.

 

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Appearing in Townsville Magistrates Court on Wednesday via video link, Zoran Kacavenda, sole director of online business the Pump Factory Pty Ltd was resentenced after pleading guilty as an individual and as a business to breaches of the Electrical Safety Act 2002, which caused Ms O'Connor's death.

A technical error in the first sentence led to the case being reopened a fortnight ago.

The court heard Kacavenda sold the Chinese-made pumps through his eBay store, where Ms O'Connor purchased the pump.

Zoran Kacavenda outside Townsville Magistrates Court. Picture: Zak Simmonds
Zoran Kacavenda outside Townsville Magistrates Court. Picture: Zak Simmonds

Magistrate Howard Osbourne ­initially fined Kacavenda's company $1m on May 10 last year. Kacavenda was also fined $200,000 by Mr ­Osbourne as the director of the ­company.

The court heard Kacavenda believed the pumps were up to European standards, but made no inquiries about what the standards were.

Kacavenda never tested the pumps apart from plugging in the machine and turning it on before shipping them to customers, the court heard.

Magistrate Ross Mack told the court he believed the steps Kacavenda undertook to certify the pumps were "blatantly inadequate".

"Mr Kacavenda's concession that he was unable to recall how he came to the conclusion that the European standards were identical with ­Australian standards, further illustrates the inadequacy of the steps the defendant took to ensure the pumps were safe to use in Australia."

Ms O'Connor's mother and father were present in court to hear the resentence.

Mr Mack fined Kacavenda's ­company Pump Factory Pty Ltd $250,000.

A conviction was recorded.

Kacavenda was fined a further $50,000 as the director of the business.

No conviction was recorded.

Originally published as 'Blatantly inadequate': Magistrate slams pump which caused woman's death



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