Construction boss found guilty of manslaughter after worker died in Hove Brighton News

A boss of a construction company has been found guilty of the manslaughter of a worker who fell to his death from two floors on a construction site.

Graham Tester, 60, died when he fell from a height at a construction site for the former Lansdowne Place Hotel in Brunswick Street, Hove, in July 2018 after a ladder was not properly secured.

Steven Wenham, 48, was found guilty of grossly negligent manslaughter and his company Total Contractors Ltd was found guilty of breaching two health and safety laws following the crash.

Another construction company boss, John Spiller, 52, who runs roofing company Southern Asphalt Ltd, was found not guilty of manslaughter but convicted of a health and safety charge for not having properly protected themselves against serious injuries that could lead to death following a fall from a height.

The roofing company also pleaded guilty to the same offense at Lewes Crown Court last Thursday.

Graham was working as a contractor roofer for Southern Asphalt when he fell from a two-story ladder and died.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspection revealed multiple safety deficiencies, including a lack of scaffolding or barriers to protect those working at height.

The ladder Graham was using turned out to have been fixed only with two nails driven into a wooden frame on each side.

Detective Inspector James Meanwell of Sussex Police said: ‘Employers have a duty of care to their employees.

“Steven Wenham and John Spiller failed in this task – the consequences of which were the tragic death of Graham and an irreparable loss for his children and grandchildren.

“I hope the Sussex Police investigation and ensuing trial has been able to answer his family’s questions and offer them some comfort that justice has been served.”

Wenham, of Charlotte Street, Brighton, was found guilty of grossly negligent manslaughter, while he and his company which was also responsible for running the site were also found guilty of two offenses under the Privacy Act occupational health and safety regarding failure to protect against serious injury or death in the event of a fall from a height.

Spiller, of Fishergate Close, Portslade, was found not guilty of manslaughter but found guilty of an offense under the Occupational Health and Safety Act relating to failure to provide adequate protection against serious injury which could result in death from a fall from a height.

Both men were released on bail ahead of their sentencing hearing in the same court in June.

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This notice was published: 2022-04-17 11:54:40

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