A TEENAGER was electrocuted after coming into contact with overhead cables in a cherrypicker, an inquest has heard.

Dean Bough, 17, died while working as a painter and decorator at Stonelands Barn in Brize Norton.

His inquest was held at County Hall yesterday, where a jury ruled that the Littlemore teenager’s death was accidental.

He had been working with his father Malcolm on painting the window frames and lintels of the Shilton Lane property on Thursday, October 13, 2011, when he got into the cherrypicker – which he was not trained to use – to paint a lamppost.

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A statement from Mr Bough, read at the inquest, said: “I was showing him how to use the picker as we went along. I was aware of the overhead cables but I didn’t specifically have a conversation about them with him.

“At about 3pm the last job to do was put another layer of paint on the lamppost.

“I had my back to him and cannot remember if he drove it forward or reversed. I don’t know why but I looked around at him and he was stood in the basket and was facing me.

“I immediately noticed he was on a level with the overhead power lines and that his head was touching them. I realised he was being electrocuted.”

Mr Bough lowered the basket and took his son out before putting him in the recovery position and calling the emergency services.

His son was pronounced dead at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford at about 5pm.

Pathologist Professor Ian Roberts said Mr Bough’s injuries were in keeping with electrocution and gave a medical cause of death as cardiac arrest.

Coroner Darren Salter heard nobody saw Dean came into contact with the cables and how Mr Bough had been trained to operate cherrypickers but his son had not.

A report by the Health and Safety Executive said Dean and the cherrypicker were more than three metres away from the lamppost he was supposed to be painting. It added the basket was at a height of around seven metres, while the lamppost was only three metres high.

Joanne Langham, a Health and Safety Executive inspector at the time, said it is not known why the cherrypicker, which was found to be functioning correctly and had no defects, was in that position.

Peter Giles, who was working as a gardener at the time, had seen Dean operate the cherrypicker earlier that day.

He told the inquest: “As the cherrypicker was moving along he was still in the basket. He extended it about three or four metres in height while he was still reversing.

“I shouted at him to watch out for the electric cables. He stopped, looked at the cables, looked at me and gave me a thumbs-up sign.

“I carried on with my work and when the time came I packed up and went home.”

Mr Bough and his son were carrying out work on the home of Andrew Cooper, the managing director of Cooper Construction, a firm, where they both worked.

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