Essex

Lee Balkwell concrete mixer death: Family awarded £12,000

Les Balkwell
Image caption Lee Balkwell died in July 2002, at an Essex farm, after suffering multiple injuries

The family of a man found dead in a concrete mixer in Essex has been awarded £12,000 in compensation.

In 2002, Lee Balkwell, 33, was found trapped under the drum of the concrete mixer lorry with multiple injuries consistent with his being crushed.

His father Les Balkwell believes his son was murdered and has criticised the police investigation into the death.

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority made the £12,000 award "after considering all the evidence".

Lee Balkwell was found dead in a lane, at South Ockendon, in July 2002. He had been cleaning out a cement mixer.

An inquest jury returned a verdict of unlawful killing through gross negligence.

Image caption Les and Jackie Balkwell believe their son was murdered in 2002

Last year, Lee Balkwell's employer, Simon Bromley, was convicted of failing to ensure the health and safety of his employee but was cleared of manslaughter by gross negligence.

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority said it had considered all the evidence and based its decision on a clause in its constitution that it was "not necessary for the assailant to have been convicted of a criminal offence in connection with the injury".

"On the balance of probabilities falls this action within the scope of the scheme," its spokesman said.

Les Balkwell told the BBC: "It is like another chip out of the wall. The truth seems to be coming out. The fight will go on.

"My family wants to see closure. It is such a drain on them."

Essex Police has no plans to reopen the investigation, a spokesman said.

In 2012, an Independent Police Complaints Commission report found eight senior officers made 25 errors in a "seriously flawed" investigation. It found no evidence of corruption.

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