Firm is found guilty over workman’s crush death

David Evans

David Evans

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Senior reporter. Call me on (01865) 425373

THE family of a man crushed to death by a block of limestone said they hoped lessons will be learned after his employer was convicted of corporate manslaughter.

David Evans was working as a stonemason’s mate on a building site in Moulsford, near Wallingford, when he suffered “catastrophic injuries” as the two-tonne stone fell.

It was to form part of a wall at the Well Barn Estate, which is owned by former Pizza Express director Hugh Osmond and was undergoing a £2m renovation.

The 23-year-old’s employer, Bristol and Bath-based Cavendish Masonry, insisted during a two-week trial at Oxford Crown Court it was not to blame for the accident.

But Oliver Glasgow, prosecuting, said because of its “almost non-existent planning”, the company had committed a gross breach of the duty of care it owed its employee. And yesterday a jury found the company unanimously guilty of corporate manslaughter.

In a statement released after the verdict, relatives of Mr Evans said they hoped no other families would have to go through the “devastation” caused by his loss.

It said: “Since that day, over four years ago, there has been a void in our lives. We miss his smile, his infectious laugh and his profoundly honest nature.

“Not a single day passes without us thinking of him and wondering what his life and our lives would have been like were he here today.

“While we know that this trial will not bring David back to us, we now know how and why he was taken from us.”

The statement added: “We hope that it is understood that the health and safety legislation is there to provide a safe working environment for all employees.

“Most of all, we hope that these lessons are learned and communicated throughout the stonemason and construction industry.

“We do not want another family to go through the devastation and uncertainty we have experienced over the last four years and the pain of loss which will always be with us.”

Following the verdict, Health and Safety Executive inspector Peter Snelgrove said: “David Evans’ tragic death was completely avoidable had Cavendish Masonry properly planned and managed the installation of the heavy limestone.

“The stone toppled because its shape was such that it was potentially unstable when free standing, yet nothing was used to fix it in place.

“The overall execution of the project fell significantly below the standard required and expected of a competent masonry company.”

Cavendish Masonry now faces a large financial penalty which will be decided at a sentencing hearing on July 3.

Our top stories:

Sir Tony calls time on 32-year career as an Oxfordshire MP

Oxford Mail:

5:00pm Tuesday 2nd September 2014

VETERAN Banbury MP Sir Tony Baldry will stand down from Parliament at the next General Election, he has announced.

Children not alone in finding school tough

Oxford Mail:

5:00pm Tuesday 2nd September 2014

HELEN WRIGHT finds out how parents confront a financial squeeze educating their offspring, while education chiefs choke on providing meals for all pupils under seven

UPDATE: Abingdon Road reopened after pedestrian seriously injured in collision

Oxford Mail:

1:31pm Tuesday 2nd September 2014

Abingdon Road has reopened after a pedestrian collided with a car.

GBH at Bicester shopping village

Oxford Mail: Oxford Crown Court

9:10am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

A man has had his sentencing adjourned yesterday for causing grievous bodily harm in a shopping centre.

One killed, two hurt in three-car smash near Brize Norton

Oxford Mail:

9:10am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

A PERSON was killed in a three-vehicle crash on the Witney Road near Brize Norton yesterday.

Oxford United foiled on deadline day

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

Michael Appleton is determined to do his shopping earlier next summer after Oxford United were unable to land their top target before the transfer window shut last night.

Farewell to Abingdon boy Skye Hall, who lived his short life to full

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

IN the final hours of his life, brave youngster Skye Hall showed incredible strength and told people to remember to make the most of what they have.

Silent disco planned in memory of Liberty Baker

Oxford Mail:

8:40am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

Details have been announced for a silent disco to raise money for a memorial commemorating crash victim Liberty Baker.

Illegal drivers caught in police operation on Abingdon Road

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

8:40am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

Six drivers using mobile phones and 12 not wearing a seatbelt were stopped by police yesterday.

Proposals for Chipping Norton homes revealed as part of West Oxfordshire Local Plan

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

RESIDENTS in Chipping Norton were given a glimpse into what their town could look like in the future.

Water firm calls on YOU to join the war on ‘fatbergs’

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

OXFORD’S water provider called on customers not to pour fat down the sink as part of its “war on fatbergs.”

All systems go for Frideswide Square revamp

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

INITIAL work began yesterday on the redevelopment of Frideswide Square.

RAF job no child’s play for this reservist mum

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

FOR Cheryl Huntbach, the news isn’t just a source of information – it could show her where her next job will be.

Buses get some F1 technology

Oxford Mail: Williams F1 Image by Craig Styles(C)

7:30am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

A FORMULA One team from Oxfordshire has been the inspiration behind a new fleet of low emission buses.

Comments

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree