Essex: Five Bailed Over Lee Balkwell Death

Five people from Essex have been arrested this morning (Wednesday November 14th) in connection with the death of Lee Balkwell a decade ago.

A 43 year-old man from Upminster has been arrested on suspicion of gross negligence manslaughter, perverting the course of justice and perjury.

A 66-year-old man, a 63-year-old woman and another woman aged 49 from Upminster - as well as a 38-year-old man from Southend - were also arrested for perverting the course of justice and perjury.

They are being questioned at a police station in Kent.

Lorry driver Lee, 33, was found with his head and shoulders wedged between the drum and chassis of a cement mixer at a farm in Upminster in July 2002.

An investigation by Essex Police concluded that Mr Balkwell, of Hornchurch, died accidentally while an inquest in 2008 recorded a verdict of unlawful killing through gross negligence.

His father Les Balkwell has made more than 130 complaints to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) about the way the force conducted the inquiry, along with the way they subsequently handled his concerns.

The watchdog investigated 92 of these complaints and found 11 of them substantiated, eight partially substantiated and the remainder unsubstantiated.

In January 2012, the watchdog ruled that Essex police's investigation into Lee Balkwell was "seriously flawed''.

All five people have been released on police bail until mid-January 2013 pending further enquiries.

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