Northern Ireland

Sawmill firm A Diamond and Son admits causing Peter Lennon's death

A director of a County Londonderry sawmill firm has pleaded guilty to causing the death of one of its workers.

Peter Lennon, 54, was killed while working at A Diamond and Son in Coleraine on 27 September 2012.

Colm Diamond pleaded guilty at Antrim Crown Court to corporate manslaughter on behalf of the family-run company.

The firm accepted it had caused Mr Lennon's death through a "gross breach of a relevant duty of care".

No details of what was described as the "terrible and tragic" death of Mr Lennon were given to the court during the short hearing.

The case was brought jointly by the police and the Health and Safety Executive.

Adjourning the proceedings, the judge said while the legislation provided for unlimited fines, it was first necessary to examine the company's strengths and profits.

The judge said an agreed prosecution and defence statement of facts about "this terrible tragedy" was needed.

He said that in the meantime, the court could do nothing but express considerable sadness to the family and friends of Mr Lennon, who was a "hardworking and dedicated family man who did not deserve this".

A defence barrister said the firm had instructed him to convey their "genuine heartfelt sorrow and remorse at the tragic death of not only an employee, but also a friend".

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