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Olivia Burt death: No criminal charges brought after Durham student crushed by metal barrier outside nightclub

Olivia’s parents said they are “deeply disappointed” by the decision

No criminal charges will be brought following the death of a university student who was crushed under a metal barrier outside a nightclub, the family’s lawyer has said.

Olivia Burt, a 20-year-old first year Durham University student, died after the barrier collapsed near the entrance to the Durham’s Missoula nightclub on February 7, 2018.

Since her death, Olivia’s parents have fought for answers to understand how their daughter died and the lessons that can be learned, the family lawyer said.

Following a police investigation, Olivia’s case was referred to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to consider charges of gross negligence manslaughter and corporate manslaughter.

The family’s lawyer said the CPS has now confirmed that there was insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction for the offences.

Olivia’s parents, Nigel and Paula Burt, said: “Clearly we are deeply disappointed that after such a lengthy investigation, lasting more than two and a half years this decision has been reached.

“We hope that there will now be a thorough and independent investigation into whether any health and safety offences have been committed.”

In a statement at the time, Missoula said it was “a terrible accident” and that they were working with the police and security company which provides door staff.

Paying tribute following her death, Durham University said Olivia was “an exceptional sports woman” who had sailed for Britain.

“The staff and students of University College, Durham acutely feel the loss of Olivia Burt,” Professor David Held, Master of University College, Durham, said at the time.

“Olivia arrived in Durham last autumn to begin reading natural sciences. She came to Durham with glowing references from her school where she was regarded in the highest possible terms.

“She had an outstanding academic record and was an exceptional sports woman.

“She was part of the British Sailing team in the European Championships. Olivia sailed for more than a decade, quickly finding her place in the University team.

“She became very active both in college life and the wider university.

“Those students close to her have lost a wonderful friend, whom in their shock they grieve for, alongside her family and friends.

“The College has lost a bright and outstandingly able student. It is hard to come to terms with her loss, and we will miss her greatly.”

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