Cornwall

Farmer guilty of Jason Morgan electrocution

Roger Matthews
Image caption Farmer Roger Matthews will be sentenced for manslaughter on 14 September

A farmer and his employee have been found guilty of manslaughter following the electrocution of a contractor.

Jason Morgan, 33, from Bristol, died when his ladder touched an overhead 11,000 volt power cable at Great Brynn Barton Farm near Roche, Cornwall.

Roger Matthews, 48, and employee Norman Treseder, 55, were found to be "grossly negligent", at Truro Crown Court.

Matthews Plant Hire Ltd and Philip Tucker, 57, were also found guilty of health and safety at work charges.

'Death trap'

The jury took nine hours to return unanimous guilty verdicts on all counts at the end of a trial that lasted almost six weeks.

Mr Morgan was installing safety netting on a barn extension in June 2011 on a work site described as "a death trap" by the prosecution.

Matthews, from St Ervan, Wadebridge, and Treseder, from Wendron, Helston, were found guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence.

Tucker, a roofer from St Wenn, Bodmin, was found guilty of one count of failing to protect people at work and Matthews Plant Hire Ltd was found guilty of two counts of failing to protect people at work.

Image copyright Devon and Cornwall Police
Image caption Jason Morgan died when his ladder touched an 11,000 volt power cable

Judge Graham Cottle released the defendants on bail and sentencing will take place on 14 September in Bristol.

Outside the court, Det Insp Stuart Ellis from Devon and Cornwall Police said: "It has been over four years since the tragic death of Jason Morgan at Great Brynn Barton Farm.

"I can only imagine the emotion and consequences for Mr Morgan's family and friends during this time.

"I hope that this trial will help those concerned with Jason to understand more fully what happened on that day, and that the verdicts will help to bring some form of resolution for them."

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