Gloucestershire

Companies fined over Sudeley Castle electrocution death

Image caption Krysztof Wiecek was killed by an overhead power cable in 2007

Two firms and a director have been fined a total of £29,000 with £28,000 in costs following the death of a man who was electrocuted at Sudeley Castle.

Krysztof Wiecek, 45, was killed by an overhead power cable while working on a marquee at the site in April 2007.

The castle was fined £10,000 with £10,000 in costs. The event organiser was fined £11,000 and £10,000 costs.

Marquee company director James Pemble, 38, of Lucks Lane, Paddock Wood, Kent, was fined £8,000 with £8,000 costs.

'Wholly inappropriate'

Judge Jamie Tabor said: "In any case that involves the death of an individual it's up to the judge to remind the court that any sentence is not designed to reflect the value of the lost life."

Referring to James Pemble, he said: "The place where the marquees were erected was wholly inappropriate and contrary to good practice. Expert evidence said Krysztof Wiecek should never have been allowed [on the roof]."

Speaking after the sentencing, a director of event organiser Value For Money, David Heslam, 57, from Filkins near Lechlade, said: "We accept that there were certain errors and omissions by our company in relation to this accident.

"However, as the court has recognised, these were not a direct cause of Mr Wiecek's death. We would like to express our sincere condolences to the Wiecek family."

An inquest in 2009 concluded that Mr Wiecek, who was from Poland, died "as a direct result of a succession of failures".

It heard that he fell on to an overhead power cable while taking down the tent at the 15th Century castle in Winchcombe.

The inquest was told that the event manager had no health and safety training and there were no signs warning of the nearby high-tension power cables.

Sudeley Castle's directors, Henry Dent-Brocklehurst and his sister Mary Dent-Brocklehurst, who received the £10,000 fine, hosted Liz Hurley's wedding to businessman Arun Nayar at the venue in 2007. The couple divorced in June this year.

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