Leeds & West Yorkshire

Tadcaster man cleared of Leeds bin lorry death

A refuse driver from North Yorkshire accused of causing a colleague's death when he reversed into a telegraph pole has been cleared at Leeds Crown Court.

Ronald Fieldhouse, 51, of Grange Avenue, Tadcaster, denied the charge of causing death by careless driving.

He was driving the refuse truck when it mounted a pavement and struck a telegraph pole which hit David Nelson.

Mr Nelson, 56, died at the scene after suffering head injuries at Beeston Park Terrace, Leeds, last April.

'Ideal world'

Mr Nelson worked as a banksman, throwing rubbish into the back of the truck and helping guide the vehicle as it reversed down the road.

He had been working at the back of the vehicle when the incident happened.

During the court case the jury heard the truck had been fitted with a monitor showing the reversing area of the vehicle and Mr Fieldhouse had undergone safety training.

Heather Gilmore, prosecuting, said: "The defendant should have been able to see the pole.

"There was plenty of room on the road for the defendant to reverse the bin wagon down the road without coming into contact with the parked vehicles."

She added that legally the vehicle should not have been on the pavement.

But Mr Fieldhouse told the court the road was often "chock-a-block" with parked cars as parents took children to a nearby school.

He added that in an "ideal world" the truck would not have to drive on to the pavement, but the manoeuvre was often "forced upon" the refuse team.

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