THE fine imposed on Scottish Power after a worker was badly injured at Longannet Power Station has been reduced on appeal by £550,000.

David Roscoe, 53, suffered extensive burns and underwent five operations after he was engulfed in pressurised high temperature steam at the now shut Kincardine energy plant.

Scottish Power Generation admitted a breach of Health and Safety at Work legislation at Dunfermline Sheriff Court and was fined £1.75 million earlier this year.

But the firm took the case to the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh and secured a ruling quashing the original financial penalty and imposing a lesser fine of £1.2m.

The court heard that the accident involved a faulty valve in pipe work at the power plant.

Mr Roscoe was conducting routine checks when he noticed steam coming from pipes on October 12, 2013.

He turned a wheel in a bid to close the valve, unaware of the fault, and was immediately hit by the steam.

The Lord Justice General, Lord Carloway, said: "It was accepted that Mr Roscoe had been a good and conscientious employee. When he had attempted to close the valve, he was doing no more or less than that which he was employed to do."

Mr Roscoe managed to get away and went to an emergency shower and radioed for help.

The front of his lower body and legs were very badly burned and his arms and neck were also affected.

He underwent two skin grafts and spent four weeks in hospital and was medically retired in 2015.

Lord Carloway noted that his life has been significantly affected and his mobility impaired.

He had previously been a keen swimmer, walker and canoeist. He has recently returned to swimming but is self-conscious about his appearance.

He cannot expose his limbs to sunlight and will be left with permanent scarring.

Lord Carloway said: "This appeal concerns the level of fine which is appropriate in respect of breaches of health and safety regulations by a very large corporation."

The senior judge said the appeal court has on several occasions encouraged sentencing judges to have regard to guidelines from south of the border in appropriate cases, particularly those involving United Kingdom statutory legislation.

The Lord Justice General, who heard the appeal with Lord Brodie and Lord Bracadale, said recent Scottish cases showed there was a significant difference between cases where the offender was a relatively small company in terms of turnover and was, or is part of, a large corporation.

He said: "Having regard to these cases, and recognising also the significant difference between fatal and non-fatal cases, this court would have been considering a starting point, before any discount for an early guilty plea, of about £1.5 million in this case.

"That has regard to the serious nature of the breach, which the court analyses in much the same way as the sheriff, the mitigating circumstances, the serious injury to the employee, the absence of any fatality but then the fact that the appellants are part of a multi-national corporation."