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Construction site manager jailed for manslaughter after fatal accident

schedule 3 months, 1 week, 6 days by Roger Moore in Construction

Hard hats

Two Northamptonshire construction workers have been jailed after a lack of safety measures resulted in the death of a father of five.

Following a nine-week trial, the pair were handed custodial sentences at Northampton Crown Court for their roles in the death of 33-year-old Shane Wilkinson, who was killed when an unsecured trench wall collapsed on top of him at a Conquest Homes building site in Collyweston in September 2014.

Andrew Winterton, site manager and director of Conquest Homes, was convicted of gross negligence manslaughter and sentenced to four years in jail, as well as being ordered to pay costs of £90,500. The court ruled that he had ignored basic safety measures, committing significant and serious breaches of health and safety legislation in the process.

Meanwhile, Dean Wortley - a self-employed labourer trading under the business name of Clearview Demolition - was convicted of a failure to ensure the health and safety of persons not in his employment, after it was determined that he was responsible for incorrectly excavating the deep trench that caused the accident.

He was handed a 12-month sentence and ordered to pay £20,000 towards costs.

The convictions followed a joint investigation by Northamptonshire Police and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which deemed that Mr Wilkinson's death represented "an avoidable and terrible loss of life".

Detective superintendent Steve Woliter from Northamptonshire Police, who served as senior investigating officer on this case, responded to the sentencing by saying: "Shane's death could easily have been avoided if Winterton and Wortley had shown any regard for basic safety measures on the site.

"No sentence imposed will ever turn back time for Shane or his family; however, I do hope this sentence sends out a clear message to others that adequate safeguards must be put in place to prevent people from harm."

Construction Enquirer

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Author: Roger Moore

Roger graduated in economics from Warwick University and first had a career in teaching, progressing to head of business studies in a large comprehensive school. His long and varied marketing career included working for the world’s largest PR agency. He enjoys reading, swimming, country walking and watching and participating in racquet sports.

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