Beds, Herts & Bucks

Luton hole death: Affinity Water accused of 'negligence'

Matt Wilmot Image copyright Tania Banks
Image caption Luton Town fan Matt Wilmot was found dead in an excavation hole in the street near his home

The partner of a football fan found dead at the bottom of a hole in the street has accused a water company of negligence.

Matt Wilmot, 40, was found in the excavation, dug by Affinity Water, near his Luton home on Sunday.

His partner of 24 years, Tania Banks, said the hole was uncovered and barriers around it knocked down.

Affinity Water declined to comment while investigations into Mr Wilmot's death were taking place.

Ms Banks said she was informed the father-of-two, died after falling head first into the 5ft (1.5m) hole, near his home in Devon Road.

"There wasn't a cover over the hole and we were told the barriers had been knocked down, so the hole was there.

"I think it definitely should have been more secure. They came around after (Mr Wilmot's discovery) and put up metal barriers - why secure it more now if you thought it was safe enough to begin with?

"I would class it as negligence," she said. "There is no way it should have been left like this."

Image copyright Tania Banks
Image caption The body of Matt Wilmot was found at the bottom of the hole in a Luton Road

According to Affinity's website, the works in Devon Road were for "essential maintenance" to replace a stop tap.

It is understood Mr Wilmot, a father-of-two, had been walking home from Dunstable, where he had been watching the FA Cup Final on Saturday afternoon, before he fell. His death was confirmed at about 07:15 BST on Sunday.

Bedfordshire Police said it was not investigating Mr Wilmot's because it was not suspicious. A file on the case has been sent by police to the coroner.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said: "We are aware of this incident and we are making enquiries alongside the police".

Image caption Floral tributes have been left at the scene

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