South East Wales

£500,000 fine for Newport gate death firm

Scene at Blakemore Wholesale, Newport, in October 2011

One of Britain's largest wholesale companies has been fined £500,000 after a delivery driver was killed by a gate at a depot in Newport, south Wales.

Ronald Hayward, 42, died in 2011 when he was pinned under a 660lb (300kg) steel gate that collapsed at the Blakemore Wholesale store in the city.

The Merthyr Tydfil driver was making early morning deliveries from a bakery.

AF Blakemore and Son Limited admitted health and safety breaches at Cardiff Crown Court.

"Our thoughts are with Mr Hayward's family who lost a much-loved husband and father almost 5 years ago," said Newport council cabinet member, Bob Poole.

The council brought the prosecution against the company, following a joint investigation with Gwent Police.

"Mr Hayward lost his life in an avoidable incident while he was carrying out his job. I hope this case reminds businesses that they have a duty to ensure their premises are safe places for both employees and visitors."

The delivery driver had been working for the Cynon Valley firm Garth Bakery when the incident happened on his first delivery job of the day.

He arrived at the Agincourt Street site at about 04:00 in the morning and unlocked the entrance gate.

But as he was preparing to leave the gate landed on him.

A resident raised the alarm after hearing screaming, and despite emergency services arriving swiftly on the scene, Mr Hayward died of traumatic asphyxia.

The company admitted failing to ensure that the gates and gateposts were maintained and were in working order.

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