Tyne & Wear

Man jailed after Swan Hunter shipyard death

A man has been jailed for three years after a County Durham man died at the Swan Hunter shipyard on North Tyneside.

Kenneth Joyce, 53, of Lanchester, suffered fatal head and neck injuries in 2008 after falling to the ground when a girder struck the cherry picker in which he was standing.

Allan Turnbull, 61, of Tow Law, was found guilty of gross negligence manslaughter at Newcastle Crown Court.

The company sub-contracting to Mr Turnbull, and its director, were fined.

The court had earlier heard that North Eastern Maritime Offshore Cluster Ltd (NEMOC) had sub-contracted the dismantling work at the shipyard to Turnbull.

An investigation by Northumbria Police and the Health and Safety Executive found that NEMOC and one of its directors, Christopher Taylor, failed to ensure the safety of its employees and sub-contracted worker.

'Easily prevented'

In addition, Turnbull failed to adequately plan the work after identifying a "lack of suitable and sufficient lifting plans".

Turnbull had pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2(1) and 3(1) by virtue of Section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

NEMOC, which is now in liquidation, was found guilty in absence of the same charges, and fined £1 for each offence.

Christopher Taylor, 51, of North Cottage, Adderstone Crescent, Newcastle, was also found guilty of two breaches of the act.

He was fined a total of £30,000 and ordered to pay £50,000 costs.

A spokesman for the Crown Prosecution Service said Mr Joyce's death could have been "easily prevented" if a "safe system" of work had been in place.

In a statement, Mr Joyce's family said: "We are striving to honour Kenneth's memory and are still coming to terms with the void his absence has left in our lives over the past four years."

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