Norfolk

Woman died after being crushed by iron gate

Jill Lunn Image copyright Norfolk Police
Image caption Jill Lunn, 56, had left her granddaughter in her car nearby when she was pinned underneath the iron gate

A woman died after she was pinned underneath an iron gate which fell when the automatic mechanism failed, a court heard.

Jill Lunn, 56, had gone to close the remote control gate by hand, leaving her granddaughter in her car nearby.

It fell as safety-stop devices had not been installed, Norwich Crown Court heard.

Robert Churchyard, 51, has denied gross negligence manslaughter and breaching a general duty of care in his work.

The gate, which was at the entrance to her driveway in Blofield Heath, near Norwich, weighed around a third of a tonne.

It was designed to be operated automatically and manually.

Mrs Lunn, who died on 17 April 2013, had left her grandchild in the car nearby when she went to close the gate.

'Highly dangerous'

Andrew Jackson, prosecuting, said: "It gained momentum as she pushed and pulled it and predictably it fell.

"That tragedy could have been easily prevented by simple stop devices on the gates or on the track on which it ran."

Mrs Lunn lived in an annex at the property owned by her daughter Jane Shannon and son-in-law Christopher Shannon.

She suffered a heart attack while pinned under the gate, the court was told.

The gate was fitted in March 2013 by Mr Churchyard, of Turner Road, Norwich, who worked for Automated Garage Doors and Gates Ltd, based at the Sweetbriar Industrial Estate in Burnet Road, Norwich.

Mr Jackson described the set-up used as "highly dangerous" as there was nothing to hold the gate in place.

Automated Garage Doors and Gates Ltd admitted three counts of failing to comply with a requirement under the Supply of Machinery (Safety) regulations at an earlier hearing.

The trial, set to last two weeks, continues.

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