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DISMANTLING FIRM OWNER GUILTY OF MANSLAUGHTER

Client and contractor companies and directors found negligent

It has been reported by Sky Tyne and Wear that Allan Turnbull, the owner of company A&H Boring and Machining, has been convicted of causing the death of a worker who died whilst working at a shipyard in Wallsend in 2008.

Mr Turnbull was found guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence after a four week trial into the death of his employee Kenneth Joyce. Mr Turnball was contracted by North Eastern Marine Offshore Contracts (Nemoc) to carry out construction work on the site.

Mr Joyce from County Durham was dismantling a building when the incident happened. The 53-year-old fell 30ft when a cherry picker was struck by a 14-tonne girder. A second girder fell dislodging a 250kg beam which struck Mr Joyce who died of head and neck injuries.

Custodial sentence available in circumstances of case

Jurors at Newcastle Crown Court heard of health and safety shortcomings including failure to carry out a suitable risk assessment and take advice from a competent person.

Prosecutor Richard Matthews QC said the death could have been avoided if a safe system of work had been established, adding:

“It was high hazard work that required careful planning and close supervision by someone who knew what they were doing. There was an obvious risk of death arising from these activities.”

Judge Paul Sloan QC said:

“You must understand all sentencing options are open to the court. You in particular, Mr Turnbull, must understand a custodial sentence is available in the circumstances of this case.”

Sentencing was adjourned.

Nemoc denied two charges of failing to discharge a duty under the Health and Safety Act and Nemoc director Christopher Taylor, 52, of Newcastle, also denied two charges of failing to discharge a duty under the act.

Both North Eastern Maritime Offshore Cluster Ltd (NEMOC) and director Christopher Taylor were convicted and will also be sentenced at a later date.

SENTENCING – SEE UPDATE

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