Devon

Dumper truck death: Daniel Whiston's bosses sentenced

Exeter Crown Court Image copyright (C) British Broadcasting Corporation
Image caption Exeter Crown Court heard the dumper truck driven by Daniel Whiston had defective brakes

Two company directors whose employee was crushed to death by a dumper truck on his first day in a new job have been sentenced to community service.

Daniel Whiston, 20, from Somerset, died when the dumper truck he was driving fell down an embankment and overturned at a farm near Tiverton, Devon.

At Exeter Crown Court on Monday, William Friend and Robert Plume admitted breaching safety rules.

They were given suspended jail terms and ordered to each pay £25,000.

Mr Whiston, from Dulverton, died in October 2009, on his first day in the job, when the four-tonne vehicle toppled down an embankment at Sweetings Farm.

Investigators discovered the dumper had defective brakes and steering.

'Needless' death

They also found Mr Whiston had received 30 minutes training from a colleague who was not qualified to train or supervise inexperienced workers.

Plume, of East Street, South Molton, and Friend, of Hannaford, Swimbridge, each pleaded guilty to a breach of health and safety legislation.

They were given 12-month custodial sentences, suspended for two years, 180 hours of community service and were ordered to pay costs of £25,000 each.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) brought the prosecution.

After Monday's hearing, HSE inspector Jonathan Harris said the death had been "needless".

"The very serious failures to manage this job properly contributed to the tragic and needless loss of a young man's life," he said.

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