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    Safety at work prosecution concludes barn roof fatality

    It has been reported by the BBC that a client for minor construction work has been fined for failing to ensure the safety of a workman who died after falling through a barn roof.

    Former soldier Dean Henderson-Smith, aged 46, was working on rooflights at Great Park Farm Cottages, Besselsleigh, Oxfordshire in October 2012 when he suffered multiple injuries in the fall and died later in hospital.

    The court heard neither he nor his colleague, Benjamin Baker, used fall prevention measures or fall arrest equipment e.g. harnesses, whilst working on the roof.

    Duty to inquire and do more about the work

    John Binning, 65, of Great Park Farm, pleaded guilty at Oxford Crown Court to an offence under the HSW Act 1974. A gross negligence manslaughter charge was dropped by the CPS.

    Mr Binning was fined a total of £72,500. His son, James Binning, had also faced a manslaughter charge, which was dropped in November 2013.

    Ben Compton QC acting for the defendant said in mitigation that said John Binning

    “acknowledges his obligation to inquire and do more about the work undertaken”

    In a victim impact statement, Mr Henderson-Smith’s partner Sacha Roberts said losing him had been “forever life-changing”.

    I was blissfully happy and believed I’d found my soul mate. In one moment my life was wrecked and will never be the same again,” she said.

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