Eastbourne Pier death: Men face manslaughter charges

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Stephen PenriceImage source, Unknown
Image caption,
Stephen Penrice had worked on the pier for about seven years

Two men have been charged in connection with the death of a worker who fell from Eastbourne Pier in 2014.

Stephen Penrice, 44, from Sandylonning, Netherton, Cumbria, was working on the pier after it had been badly damaged by fire.

Michael Hawkins, 36, and Paul Dixon, 52, both face a charge of gross negligence manslaughter.

They are due to appear at Brighton Magistrates' Court for a hearing on 16 May.

Mr Hawkins, a company director of The Promenade, Maryport, Cumbria, also faces two counts of failing to discharge a duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Mr Dixon, a construction worker of Newton Drive, Blackpool, Lancashire, faces one count of the same charge.

Mr Penrice had worked on the pier for about seven years as part of constant remedial work carried out.

His death came three weeks after a fire destroyed about a third of the 144-year-old, Grade II-listed pier.

An investigation into the cause of the blaze was closed in July 2015.

Mr Penrice's employer, MPM North West Ltd, of Victoria Place, Carlisle, Cumbria, was also charged with two counts under the Health and Safety at Work Act.

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