Worlingworth wall collapse: Engineer charged over men's deaths

Old Maltings, Worlingworth The two men who died were working on a barn conversion at a farm

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A structural engineer is to be charged over the deaths of two men killed when a wall collapsed on a building site.

Matthew Skeet, 19, and Kevin Ruffles, 57, died at Worlingworth, Suffolk, on 21 October 2010.

Barry Potts, 64, of Freston, near Ipswich, will be charged with gross negligence manslaughter and site owner Elliston Steady & Hawes (Building) with health and safety offences.

They are due to appear before Ipswich Magistrates' Court on 5 July.

Gaon Hart of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said it had "carefully reviewed" all of the evidence gathered by Suffolk Police during their investigation into the men's deaths.

"It was concluded that there is sufficient evidence to charge Barry Potts, a structural engineer who was advising Matthew and Kevin on their work, with gross negligence manslaughter under the common law and with a health and safety offence," he said.

"It is alleged that Mr Potts gave Matthew Skeet and Kevin Ruffles permission to dig a trench under part of the wall, which weakened the foundations and led the wall to collapse.

"The CPS has also concluded that there is sufficient evidence to charge Elliston Steady & Hawes (Building) Limited, the company who owned the site, The Old Maltings in Worlingworth Suffolk, with Health and Safety offences.

"I extend my sincere sympathies to the families of Mr Skeet and Mr Ruffles."

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