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:

Video: Watch the blaze that destroyed a lorry trailer carrying egg boxes on the A40

Oxford Mail:

11:10am Monday 22nd December 2014

A LORRY containing egg boxes has caught fire on the A40 near Witney.   

Special report: The city where it can be 19 times your salary for a home

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Monday 22nd December 2014

THERE is no longer anywhere cheap to live in Oxford, leaving average earners priced out of the market house prices up to 19 times the media salary, new figures show.

UPDATE: Queues along Abingdon Road as Westgate shopping centre car park fills up with Christmas shoppers

Oxford Mail: Westgate Centre oxford

4:35pm Monday 22nd December 2014

A RUSH of shoppers to the Westgate Shopping Centre has caused traffic to queue down Abingdon Road in Oxford.

A4130 blocked after car goes into ditch

Oxford Mail: a4130 alert

1:19pm Monday 22nd December 2014

THE A4130 is partially blocked in both directions by a car crash between Didcot and Brightwell-cum-Sotwell.

Oxford chosen to host new NHS genetics research centre to improve care

Oxford Mail:

12:10pm Monday 22nd December 2014

PEOPLE in Oxfordshire with cancer and rare diseases could get advanced diagnosis and treatment under a new genetics project.

What brilliant picture is in our Oxford Mail Advent Calendar today?

Oxford Mail:

6:00am Tuesday 9th December 2014

December is Advent Calendar time and we have a special new interactive graphic for you each and every day until Christmas Eve. I've chosen the best 24 pictures of 2014 and I'll be unveiling one a day - so what is behind's today's door?

Guess which of the great and good sent these Christmas cards

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Monday 22nd December 2014

YOU know you’re starting to go places when you get Christmas cards from Oxfordshire's great and the good. Here's David Cameron's offering but can you guess who is responsible for the other five hidden in our interactive graphic and then read why they chose them

Much-loved narrowboat taken out of commission

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Monday 22nd December 2014

A NARROWBOAT that has delighted elderly and disabled people with canal trips for more than two decades has sailed her last.

Campaigner welcomes move to approve new kidney cancer drug

Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author

7:00am Monday 22nd December 2014

CANCER campaigner Clive Stone has praised health bosses he once fought against for passing a kidney cancer drug, but pledged to fight for other sufferers.

Boris gets a reminder to return book to Oxford college's library

Oxford Mail:

6:30am Monday 22nd December 2014

MAYOR of London Boris Johnson had a confession to make when he visited Oxford to sign copies of his latest book.

Upgrade locks, say police, after spate of burglaries

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

6:30am Monday 22nd December 2014

BURGLARIES that have all used the same technique to break door locks have prompted a warning by police for residents to improve their home security.

Firefighters battle loft blaze in Witney

Oxford Mail: Fire engine Oxfordshire

10:01am Sunday 21st December 2014

FIREFIGHTERS were able to stop a roof fire spreading and destroying the rest of the house last night.

Skye Hall's family: Our first Christmas without our brave son

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Saturday 20th December 2014

LOOM bands are taking over the house of Skye Hall’s family as they prepare to spend their first Christmas without the brave youngster who died in August.

Hudspeth backs councillors in demand to be told man's pay in allowances row

Oxford Mail: Ian Hudspeth

8:30am Saturday 20th December 2014

OXFORDSHIRE County Council leader Ian Hudspeth has backed councillors Rodney Rose and Kevin Bulmer who asked a voter to reveal his wages when he challenged them over a 19 per cent hike in their allowance.

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