John Binning fined for Oxfordshire barn roof fall death

John Binning
Image caption Manslaughter charges against John Binning were dropped

A man has been fined for failing to ensure the safety and welfare of a worker who died after falling through a barn roof.

Former soldier Dean Henderson-Smith, 46, had been working on skylights at Great Park Farm Cottages, Besselsleigh, Oxfordshire in October 2012.

John Binning, 65, of Great Park Farm, pleaded guilty at Oxford Crown Court to a health and safety offence on Tuesday. A manslaughter charge was dropped.

He was fined a total of £72,500.

'Soul mate'

His son, James Binning, of Binnings Farm, Besselsleigh, had also faced a manslaughter charge, which was dropped in November.

Image copyright Thames Valley Police
Image caption Dean Henderson-Smith had been working at Great Park Farm Cottages

Mr Henderson-Smith suffered multiple injuries in the fall on 18 October 2012 and died later in hospital.

The court heard neither he nor his colleague, Benjamin Baker, wore hard hats, gloves or harnesses while on the roof.

In mitigation, defence lawyer Ben Compton QC said John Binning "acknowledges his obligation to inquire and do more about the work undertaken".

In a victim impact statement, Mr Henderson-Smith's partner Sacha Roberts said losing him had been "forever life-changing".

"I was blissfully happy and believed I'd found my soul mate. In one moment my life was wrecked and will never be the same again," she said.

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