Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Blackmoor Estate deaths: Former manager faces charges

The fruit packing business at the Blackmoor Estate
Image caption Blackmoor Estate Ltd has also been charged with an offence under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974

The former manager of a fruit packing firm on a Tory peer's Hampshire estate, has been charged with gross negligence manslaughter after two workers died.

Scott Cain, 23, and Ashley Clarke, 24, were found unconscious in the apple store at Lord Selborne's Blackmoor Estate in February 2013.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) confirmed it had charged the former manager, Andrew Stocker.

It has also charged the firm under Health and Safety legislation.

Image copyright Family photo - police handout
Image caption Ashley Clarke was described as having "a passion for life"

Mr Stocker and Blackmoor Estate Ltd, based at Selborne near Liss, are due to appear at Aldershot Magistrates' Court on 26 June.

Mr Cain, from Whitehill, and Mr Clarke died while retrieving apples from a long-term storage container, in which fruit was being kept at very low oxygen levels.

Staff and paramedics tried to resuscitate the men, but their efforts were unsuccessful.

Ian Clarke said his son Ashley, from Liss, had "a passion for life".

"We have lost someone special, a son, a brother, fiancé and friend, who can never be replaced and we will never forget him."

Viscount Wolmer, Lord Selborne's son, is the managing director of the Blackmoor Estate.

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