Disaster struck in February last year when the brakes failed on one of Gordon’s 32-tonne lorries as it sped down a steep hill in Weston, Bath, killing four people.Inexperienced driver, Phillip Potter, 20, told the jury he had tried to warn his boss about the faulty brakes, spotting an ABS warning light on the dashboard, but was made to feel stupid for mentioning it and told to “keep on driving”.Moments after the accident claimed the lives of Stephen Vaughan, 34, Phil Allen, 52, Robert Parker, 59, and four-year-old Mitzi Steady, Gordon grabbed Potter and told him: “Don’t tell the police about the ABS light”. It later emerged that the brakes had not been properly safety tested for nine months. Gordon hired Wood – an unqualified mechanic – to carry out mandatory six-week safety tests on his fleet of trucks. This was entirely predictable, the result of poor management and a disregard for the rules and a failure to comply with routine guidelines. It was, put simply, an accident waiting to happenAdam Vaitilingam QC Court artist sketch of (left to right) Peter Wood, Phillip Potter and Matthew GordonCredit: Elizabeth Cook/PA Stephen Vaughan, 34, who was a taxi driver killed by a tipper truck in BathCredit:PA In a statement, Mitzi’s family said:”Mitzi was an outgoing, fun, beautiful girl whose confidence and independence had grown to a new level in the months before she was killed, allowing us to glimpse the girl that she should have become.”Nothing can bring her back and we will miss her every day for the rest of our lives.”Stephen Vaughan’s wife Sian said: “Steve and I did not get nearly enough time together. As heartbroken as I am, I am equally grateful for the life that we shared.”In the last 22 months of complete unexpected hell and the darkest saddest moments of my life, I know how lucky I had been to be Steve’s wife. He was paid £15 an hour to carry out repairs in-house so Gordon could avoid using a more expensive outside mechanic.Wood gave the killer lorry the all-clear three weeks before the crash but prosecutors said the crippling defects would have been obvious to any competent mechanic.Gordon was also said to have put undue pressure on his drivers to speed and use banned routes so they could make more deliveries.Mr Potter said his boss had made him feel “silly and stupid” when he reported an ABS brake warning light which had been flashing on the Scania’s dashboard for days.He was told to “keep on driving” and did not press the issue because he “didn’t want to be a nuisance”. Mitzi Rosanna Steady, four, who was killedCredit: Avon and Somerset Police Bristol Crown Court heard how Gordon, whose company made around £500,000 a year, skimped on repair bills and encouraged truckers to drive dangerously so he could maximise turnover.An accident investigator who examined the crashed lorry, which had 441,000 miles on the clock, said it was the worst HGV he had ever inspected.He and Wood were told to expect lengthy custodial sentences after being found guilty of four counts of manslaughter. Mr Potter wept as he was cleared of all charges.The court had heard how the brakes on the Scania truck suffered a catastrophic failure, reaching 250 degrees Celsius after the vehicle was driven at “excessive speed” along country roads. The wreckage of the tipper truck is taken away from the sceneCredit: SWNS.com “On the day I walked down the aisle with Steve, if someone had told me this was to happen and that he was to have been taken away from me, I would have still walked down the aisle; because four years of being part of Steve’s life was more luck and happiness than I could have ever imagined.”When I buried Steve, his body left us but his spirit, his soul and his amazing ability to give is still with us: It lives on in the stories people share of how he touched their lives.”He is missed every day by his family and all those who knew him.”Detective Chief Inspector Rich Ocone, from Avon and Somerset Police, said: “Our investigation revealed a shocking picture of a company culture with complete disregard of safety and maintenance. This was a company with a very casual attitude towards safety.”If there is a message which needs to come from this tragic incident, it is that company owners must adhere to a duty of care to the public. Wreckage at the crash site of a lorry which killed four people on Lansdown Lane, BathCredit:Ben Birchall/PA Wire A haulage firm boss whose defective tipper truck careered out of control killing four people including a little girl, has been found guilty of manslaughter after it was revealed he told the driver to keep quiet about the faulty brakes.In a bid to maximise profits, Matthew Gordon, 30, failed to maintain his fleet of HGV vehicles allowing them to fall into an extremely dangerous state.Peter Wood, the unqualified and incompetent mechanic he hired to maintain the vehicles, was also found guilty of manslaughter. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.