Northampton

Collyweston trench death site manager jailed

Shane Wilkinson Image copyright Northamptonshire Police
Image caption Shane Wilkinson was a single parent whose children are now being brought up by his parents

A site manager has been jailed for four years after a grounds worker died when a trench wall collapsed on top of him.

Shane Wilkinson, 33, died on 4 September 2014 at a building site in Collyweston, Northamptonshire.

Andrew Winterton, 52, of High Street, Collyweston, was convicted of gross negligence manslaughter at Northampton Crown Court.

Trench digger driver Dean Wortley, 48, of Market Deeping, was sentenced to 12 months for health and safety breaches.

Image caption The father-of-five died while working on the site which became this estate in Collyweston

The court was told Mr Wilkinson was standing next to a deep trench which was incorrectly excavated by Wortley, who traded as Clearview Demolition.

When the unsecured trench wall collapsed, the father-of-five was completely buried in the rubble and he died at the site.

The court heard the sides of the trench had not been properly or adequately secured and Wortley and Conquest Homes director Winterton ignored basic safety measures.

Northamptonshire Police said it was the first case of corporate manslaughter successfully tried in the county, after a joint investigation with the Health and Safety Executive.

Det Supt Stephen Woliter said the culture of the building site was "chaotic and also culpable because they knew what the rules were and chose to ignore them".

He added Mr Wilkinson, who was from Crowland, Lincolnshire, had only worked at the site for two days to help buy shoes for his children before they started school.

Wortley was found guilty of a failure as a self-employed person to discharge his duty to ensure the health and safety of persons not in his employment.

He was also found guilty of failing to take all practicable steps to prevent danger and told to pay £20,000 in costs.

Winterton and Conquest Homes were told to pay £90,500 in fines and costs.

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