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Stanmer: Two convicted of Carpenter's Death
Two men have been convicted of the manslaughter of a carpenter, who fell to his death on a building site in Brighton.
This is the statement from the CPS
David Clark sustained serious head injuries when he fell through a first floor void while working on Stanmer Park Stables in September 2014 and died later in hospital.
Michael Holland, the owner and sole director of Cherrywood Investments Ltd., and Grant Oakes, the site foreman, were both found guilty of manslaughter due to gross negligence following a trial at Lewes Crown Court. The two individuals, along with the company, were also convicted of health and safety offences.
The court heard that work on the site had previously been stopped following an inspection by the Health and Safety Executive in September 2013, after they found extremely poor standards in relation to working at height. They noted numerous openings in the first floor, through which anyone working there could fall several metres. They also found inadequate health and safety training had been undertaken.
Following this, Mr. Oakes attended training, including some specifically related to ensuring the safety of those working at height. However, despite this and additional advice from the Health and Safety Executive, standards subsequently deteriorated at the site, leading to Mr. Clark's fall.
Gail Purdy from the CPS said: "This has been a complex case to bring to court. In addition to the manslaughter charges, careful consideration had to be given to additional charges under health and safety legislation. To do this, we had to prove there had been a total failure by the individuals and the company to undertake their responsibilities for the safety of their employees on site.
"From the evidence gathered, it became clear both men visited the site regularly and would have seen the conditions, which included work being carried out with voids that someone could fall through, but they did nothing to prevent this happening.
"Mr. Holland completely failed to grasp his personal responsibilities and even went as far as to blame the victim for his own death, despite having previously been advised by the Health and Safety Executive of the measures that needed to be taken on site."
Sentencing is due on July 21st.
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