Northallerton firm fined £160,000 over man's roof fall death

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Image source, North Yorkshire Police
Image caption,
Luke Crocher was killed in a fall from the roof of a house

A business has been fined £160,000 after a labourer suffered "catastrophic" head injuries and died when he fell from a roof.

Luke Crocher, 24, was not wearing a safety harness or hard hat when he fell 19ft (5.8m) from the roof of a house in Bishop Monkton, near Ripon, in 2018.

His employer, Northallerton Heating Centre, admitted a charge of corporate manslaughter.

A judge said the firm was guilty of a "gross breach" of its duty of care.

Mr Crocher was installing a boiler at the property on 5 April when he lost his balance and fell from a flat roof.

Prosecutor John Elvidge QC told Leeds Crown Court neither Mr Crocher nor his colleague was wearing safety equipment and no scaffolding or edge protection were in use.

The court also heard that Mr Crocher had not received any training or instruction on working at height and that although some safety equipment had been purchased by the business in 2017 it was "not commonly used".

Passing sentence Judge Tom Bayliss QC said: "I am quite sure, on the evidence before me, that there was tolerance, on the part of the partnership, of a culture which failed to comply with health and safety legislation relating to working at height."

Mark Flintoft, who ran the business with his wife, had previously been charged with breaching the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 but the charge was left to lie on file as a result of the firm's plea to corporate manslaughter.

Det Ch Insp Jim Glass, from North Yorkshire Police, said: "Luke was carrying out a day's work, from which he should have been able to return safely to his family who have been left utterly heartbroken by his death."

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