Deaths in 2001
Deaths in 2002
Click on the names below for further case details
Click on the names below for further case details
Deaths in 2005
Deaths in 2006
FURTHER DETAILS OF DEATHS
Adrian, an assistant greenkeeper at a golf club was killed while using a Sabo Roberine mowing machine which overturned into a ditch crushing him on 31 May 2001. The police in their investigation discovered that the operator presence control which caused the machine to cut out when the driver was not seated had been overridden. There was also no seatbelt or rollover protection and the four wheel drive control was on but did not work.
The company pleaded guilty under the Health & Safety at Work Act Section 2(1) & 2(3) and the Management of Health & Safety at Work Act Regulation 3(1). It was fined £18,000 and ordered to pay £7,000 in costs.
The inquest was held at West Sussex Coroners Court on 30 October 2001. A verdict of 'Accidental Death' was returned.
Stephane, had been out for the night with friends but was alone when the incident happened in the pedestrian zone of East Street, Brighton. Police believe he was run over by a rear tyre of the seven-and-a-half tonne council refuse truck after stumbling and falling under the wheel. There were no witnesses and the driver did not see him. The cleaning operation was being run by waste contractors SITA.
The inquest was held at Brighton and Hove Coroners Court on 19 December 2002. A verdict of 'Accidental Death' was returned.
However in February 2002 the local paper, The Argus, discovered the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) knew nothing about the accident until approached by Stephane's family six months after his death.In a statement as late as January 2002, a Brighton and Hove council spokeswoman said, 'The incident reports from police, the council and Sita were all received by the HSE and it was satisfied this was a road traffic accident.' The council has now admitted this statement was untrue and that it did not inform the HSE.
A spokesman for the council said, 'Our previous letter to the family was in error in suggesting we'd reported the incident to the HSE. The responsibility for reporting the incident always lay with Sita, not with us.' He said the council would write to the family to apologise 'for any confusion that may have been caused'.
Stephane's parents, Jean-Claude and Josiane Aineto, renewed their demand for a public inquiry into their son's death, following the council's admission.
In February 2003 Stephane's family gained permission to challenge the inquest verdict. His family has been seeking a fresh inquest and the Solicitor General, Harriet Harman, gave permission for the case to be reviewed by the High Court. In August 2002 the family were told they had permission to bring a judicial review by Mr Justice Hooper. The two legal proceedings were to be heard together.
Under the Coroner's Act the High Court can order a new inquest if it is 'necessary or desirable in interests of justice'. The original hearing was held without a jury, had no involvement from the Health and Safety Executive and heard no evidence from the council.
In July 2003 the High Court ruled a new inquest should be held into Stephane's death. Lord Justice Dyson and Mr Justice Gibb ruled that, 'The failure to summon a jury was a serious procedural impropriety.'
John Halford, of solicitors Bindman and Partners, said. 'This is a huge milestone for the family's path to justice. They have established that a fundamental element of the inquest was missing in that because this was a work-related death, a jury had to be summoned.'
In May 2006 the Brighton and Hove Coroner had still not announced a date for the new inquest causing Stephane's family much distress.
A fresh inquest was held in March 2007 and returned a verdict of 'Misadventure'.
Stephane's parents, who live in Toulouse, France, flew home 'sick to death' at the British justice system, according to friends, after a jury at Lewes Magistrates' Court returned their verdict.
On the first day of the four-day hearing the inquest had heard how Stephane appeared 'very drunk' to friends shortly before the accident.
Ron Trussell, whose daughter Margaret Anderson had been going out with Stephane at the time of the incident, said, 'They are extremely upset by the outcome. It has taken five years and a lot of money to get to this stage and they feel it has come to nothing.' Mr Trussell said he had trouble believing the 'bizarre' verdict. He said regardless of how drunk Mr Aineto may have been he should not have been able to fall under the vehicle.
He said, 'There is something seriously wrong here. He was a pedestrian in a pedestrianised zone. In this country a pedestrian dies every six weeks because of this kind of accident. Something needs to be done about it.'
In March 2006 the Health and Safety Executive issued an alert to the waste and recycling industry after nine people were killed in eight weeks in accidents involving refuse trucks.
Mr Trussell said the only positive to come from the inquest was that it had enabled Stephane's family to hear information which had previously been unavailable to them.
He said, 'After we came out at the end his mother cried. She said to me afterwards that was the first time she had been able to cry since it happened. It is hard to imagine how much must have been bottled up inside her.'
In March 2007, as the new inquest opened into Stephane's death, Anne Smith, a 61-year-old charity worker, was killed when she was hit by a refuse truck in Cranbourne Street, Brighton, on her way to work prompting calls for curbs on the number of dustcart firms operating town centre rubbish collections.
Roy Pennington, who represents the Regency ward in central Brighton, believes the number of companies operating must be cut to avoid a repeat tragedy. Half-a-dozen firms operate across the city, leading to scores of dustcarts accessing restricted zones in The Lanes, North Laine and Churchill Square at different times of day.
Councillor Pennington said on his internet blog, 'The tragic accident seems to be related to the fact that the refuse truck must have been accessing Farm Yard. There are 17 trade waste bins from five separate companies in that cul-de-sac when I last looked there. Without pre-judging the inquest deliberations the council could consider requiring the traders to only use one company, as far as possible, on grounds of reducing the risk of accidents.
'Safety must come first, before any free market considerations. It may have been an accident in waiting - we must learn from it, nevertheless.'
Ken was a window cleaner for 40 years and was cleaning the windows next to the Church of the Sacred Heart in Norton Road, Hove. Ken was leaning out of the window and, it seems, lost his balance and fell 30ft. He died immediately from his injuries.
The inquest was held at Brighton and Hove Coroners Court on 21 November 2001. A verdict of 'Accidental Death' was returned.
No one saw him fall but a passer-by found him lying in the basement area moments later. His cleaning tools were by his side as well as a metal handle, which had been ripped away from the window frame. It is believed Ken may have been sitting with his lower body inside and his upper body outside the window when he lost his balance and fell.
Stuart Harley, an environmental health officer for Brighton and Hove City Council, said, 'I would suggest it was not the safest way to work. However, I have seen window cleaners operate like this, as their custom and practice.' He said the window frame to which the handle was attached showed signs of rot and that it would have been difficult to use a ladder to clean the bay window.
Wolfram, German captain of the cargo ship Ash, died after a collision with the Dutch tanker Aquamarine eight miles off Hastings. Mr D'Esterre-Roberts was master of the Aquamarine officer on watch at the time of the collision. The Aquamarine, five times the size of the Ash with a cargo of vinegar, steamed on under auto pilot and rammed into the back of the 1,000 tonne Ash, laden with its cargo of steel, holing it below the water line. The crew of six jumped from the ship but Wolfram lost his life-jacket and died after being winched from the sea.
Mr D'Esterre Roberts was arrested when he docked his ship in Swansea. He pleaded guilty to breaching or neglecting his duty to prevent his ship colliding with another vessel, causing the loss of the ship or the injury or death of another crew member but he denied a manslaughter charge.
In March 2003 Lewes Crown Court heard how Brian Norcutt D'Esterre Roberts, 39, was chatting to a cadet on the bridge of the 4,700 Dutch Aquamarine when he should have been watching the shipping lanes for other vessels. The court was told he could have taken his ship off auto-pilot and altered its course if he had been keeping a proper look-out. He told police at the time he had seen the Ash but miscalculated his navigation.
On 6 Mar 2003 Mr D'Esterre Roberts was convicted of the manslaughter charge and jailed for 12 months. Following the verdict John Astbury, director of operations at the Maritime Coastguard Agency, said, 'This tragic accident clearly demonstrates how vitally important it is for any person who is charge of the navigation of a vessel to maintain a proper and effective lookout.'
Kevin, a welder, was injured when a fork lift truck ran over his foot. He was sent to hospital and given a week off work. However, a week later, Kevin developed a rare blood condition which meant his blood clotted and blocked vital glands in his body and he died at home on 11 April 2002.
The inquest was held at East Sussex Coroners Court on 24 October 2002. A verdict of 'Accidental Death' was returned.
Pathologist Dr Jane Mercer said blood clots had blocked Kevin's adrenal glands and prevented hormones from, which are vital for stabilising blood flow pressure, from entering his system. She said the condition was extremely unusual and normally only associated with illnesses meningitis or septicaemia. Dr Mercer added, 'But I can conclude that it was down to the injury that Mr Turner died.'
Gary, a gardener, was driving a ride-on lawn mower at the University of Sussex. A witness saw him jump off and hit his head on the tarmac surface. Gary was a groundsman at the University for 13 years and was employed by contractor Ecovert.
Gary never regained consciousness and died after seven days on a life support machine.
The inquest was held at Brighton and Hove Coroners Court on 2 December 2001. A verdict of 'Accidental Death' was returned.
Kevin, a builder, died after falling from a ladder during a routine maintenance job. Kevin was cutting ivy off a wall at a house in Montpelier Road, Brighton. He suffered multiple head injuries.
The inquest was held at Brighton and Hove Coroners Court on 2 December 2001. A verdict of 'Accidental Death' was returned.
The Health and Safety Executive investigated the incident but decided there was no cause to take any legal action as Kevin was self-employed and responsible for his own safety.
Tanya, an adventure instructor and operations director of Adventure Unlimited, was preparing to give a zip wire lesson to a disabled man with a cerebral palsy sufferer at Blackland Farm activity centre in East Grinstead.
The disabled man's carer raised the alarm when she arrived on the scene and found Tanya strangled by her helmet strap on the 45ft long slide. A second harness, which would usually have been attached to a zip wire, was on the ground beneath her.
Staff could not resuscitate Ms Bocking, and she was pronounced dead on arrival at the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath.
The inquest was held at East Sussex Coroners Court in February 2005 and returned a verdict of Misadventure. Pathologist Andrew Rainey said the cause of death was given as asphyxiation due to ligature strangulation.
Coroner Alan Craze said, 'Because of her experience I do not believe on the balance of probability she would have deliberately set off down the zip wire with the karabina in the position where it was found, suspended by the top (chest) harness alone. The dangers are obvious and it would be at the very best an uncomfortable ride. Whatever went wrong went wrong up on the (zip wire) platform... that is where she got in trouble. Whether she attempted to get out of the situation and by accident put her foot in the wrong place and then fell off I don't know but I am reasonably satisfied she did step off by accident.'
Speaking after the hearing, Tanya's brother Nat Bocking called for tighter safety measures at outdoor centres to prevent similar accidents. 'Measures such as handrails on the platform might have saved her life,' he said.
Lewis, was working as a trainee at the Anchor Garage in Phyliss Avenue, when a fire started. Lewis was severely burnt and died in hospital from his injuries.
The inquest was to held at Sussex East Coroners Court but was adjourned pending manslaughter charges brought against Glen Hawkins the garage manager and health and safety charges against Howard Hawkins the garage owner.
In June 2005 Lewes Crown Court heard that Glen Hawkins had helped Lewis pour a mix of petrol and diesel into a waste oil tank at the Anchor Garage, Peacehaven. Fumes were sucked into the flue of a recently installed boiler sparking a massive fireball. Lewis was engulfed in flames and suffered 60 per cent burns. He died three days later from his injuries.
Glen Hawkins was convicted of manslaughter by the jury on a 10-2 majority. He was also burned in the explosion but claimed Lewis had tipped the fuel, drained from a wrongly filled diesel car, into the waste oil tank on his own.
Howard Hawkins was fined £10,000 for failing to ensure the safety of his employees was also ordered to pay £15,000 towards prosecution costs of £54,000. The trial jury heard Howard Hawkins was not at the garage when the fuel was drained from the car and was away when the explosion happened.
Judge Richard Hayward said the method for draining and storing the fuel mix 'defied just about every health and safety guideline' for the handling of petrol. He told Hawkins that he had not accepted his responsibility as an employer for the health and safety of his staff. 'You did not organise any health and safety training for your staff and left it for others to do. You made it clear it was a matter of common sense and you could leave it to the experience of your staff to know what was safe.'
Judge Richard Hayward, sentencing them, said, 'This was a terrible tragedy which resulted in a completely unnecessary death.'
However the conviction was quashed in June 2005 after Lord Justice Pill, sitting at London's Criminal Appeal Court ruled that a statement Glen Hawkins gave which formed the core of the prosecution's case should not have been allowed to be admitted as evidence.
The judge, sitting with Mr Justice Henriques and Mr Justice Davis, told the court how Glen Hawkins also suffered burns from the accident and that the statement was made to a fireman while he was in great pain, heavily doped with morphine and suffering from shock.
Lord Justice Pill ruled that it was unfair for that statement to have been admitted as evidence, adding that it was contradicted by another statement made while he was more clear-headed.
He said, 'We do not regard the procedure which was followed as satisfactory. He only uttered a couple of sentences to the fireman but they formed the core of the prosecution case. In our judgement the view should have been formed (at the time) that he was a suspect and the conversation should not have been admitted and that alone leads us to the conclusion that this conviction is unsafe.'
The judge refused an application by the prosecution for a retrial.
Mr Hawkins, who had served all but a month of his sentence was freed with his reputation restored.
A letter read out by Lewis's mother Elizabeth after the original conviction, said, 'I don't hate these people. Nobody would do these things on purpose. I just want someone to admit they made a mistake and to realise the devastation that has been caused.'
Karl was inspecting a trench for an ornamental lake at Greenbanks, Shepherd's Hill, Buxted. The 8 foot deep trench collapsed. The trench was not fully supported at the time. Despite the efforts of labourer Robert Austin and builder Michael Scott to dig him clear, Karl died from asphyxiation caused by the pressure on his chest.
Karl and his the two workers had been using an excavator to dig the trench before lining it with strong waterproof rubber sheeting to form the sides of the lake. They had completed half of the circular ditch by 2pm and had been putting the soil from the mechanical digger above it. Karl jumped into the hole to secure the sheeting.
The inquest was held in April 2005 at Sussex East Coroner's Court. It heard the weight of the soil above the trench could have contributed to the earth falling on top of him. Landscape architect Christopher Blandford is the owner of the estate on which the lake was being built. He told the jury he had warned Karl about the danger of going into the trench and produced details of the work plan which advised him not to do so. He said, 'I was asked to make clear the risks of going down. He agreed there was a risk.'
Dennis Bodger, of the Health and Safety Executive, said the way the lake was being constructed constituted an 'unsafe practice'.
Sussex East coroner Alan Craze said, 'People will assume a collapse is not going to happen. They should realise it can happen and at some time, as in this case, it will.' He heard that Karl had entered the cavity on two occasions prior to the incident and as such he directed the jury to return a verdict of misadventure rather than accidental death.
Patrick Geryl, Charles Meyers and Tom Vlietinck
Patrick, Geryl and Tom died when their trawler capsized off Beachy Head after snagging its nets. The bodies of Patrick and Charles were recovered on Wednesday, while Tom's body sank.
A fourth man, the 19-year-old nephew of Tom the boat's captain, was rescued. Hendrik Vlietinck was spotted by coastguards clinging to the upturned hull of the vessel after spending 15 hours waiting to be rescued. He was treated for shock and hypothermia in hospital but was released later on Wednesday, and spent the night in the care of the Fishermen's Mission, in Newhaven. Coastguard spokesman Ian Farrow said, 'It was a miracle that he was rescued.' All the fishing boat crew worked for the same family-run firm which owned the trawler.
The inquest is to be held at the Sussex East Coroner's Court on a date yet to be set.
Darren was repairing a roof at Bell Lane Industrial Estate in Uckfield when he fell 20 feet through a skylight. He died the next day in hospital from the head injuries sustained in the fall.
The inquest is due to be held at Sussex East Coroner's Court on a date yet to be set.
In 2006 it became known that the CPS were reviewing the case with a view to a possible prosecution over Darren's death.
Gary Miles and Steven Boatman
Gary and Steven died, and a third colleague was seriously injured, when a 100ft crane collapsed at a school building site in Worthing. The crane was being used to build a new special school on the main campus, and was being dismantled when the incident occurred. The crane hit another as it fell on Gary and Steven.
The inquest is due to be held at Sussex West Coroner's Court on a date yet to be set.
Construction workers' union Ucatt raised fears the Health and Safety Executive may take years to establish the cause of the accident. Gary's and Steven's deaths brought the total number of construction workers killed between April 2004 and February 2005 to 62, an average of six a month. An inquiry into the death of three men killed five years ago when a crane collapsed at Canary Wharf, London, had still not shed any light on the possible cause.
Ucatt's regional secretary, Jerry Swain, said lives could have been saved if the results of the inquiry had been published. He said, 'While the circumstances of the Worthing incident are still sketchy, they will no doubt cause many in the industry to remember the Canary Wharf crane collapse. We are still waiting for the results of the inquiry into that accident five years later. We cannot afford to wait another five years for a report that may have contained recommendations that would have contributed to saving lives today.'
Hal, a self-employed painter, fell to his death from a scaffold tower while working on Rye Methodist Church.
The inquest was held at Sussex East Coroner's Court on 5 October 2007. A verdict of 'Accidental Death' was returned.
The inquest jury heard that the scaffold tower had not been tied to the wall and was not fitted with out-rigers to give it more support.
Hal was painting near the roof of the three storey church and working from ladder which had been placed on the top of the tower, when the tower started to fall backwards. Hal fell onto a paved area below. Workmate Peter Frost who was also on the tower fell into a neighbouring garden and suffered back injuries.
Hal was attended to by paramedics at the scene. He was then air-lifted to the Conquest Hospital by helicopter but later died of his injuries.
Roy who worked for Eastbourne Buses was crushed between two vehicles when a bus reversed into him at a depot in East Sussex
The inquest will be held at Sussex East Coroner's Court on 8 and 9 May 2008.
Brian Wembrige and Geoff Wicker
Geoff Wicker and Brian Wembridge died when they attended a fire at at the Festival Fireworks factory at Marlie Farm, Shortgate, near Lewes.
Geoff, a watch officer at Heathfield fire station, and Brian, a brigade photographer, were among the first at the scene of the disaster. They were killed by an explosion which shook the ground up to ten miles away.
Nine other firefighters, a police sergeant and two members of the public were injured. Nine fire engines, three specialist vehicles and several cars were wrecked by the blast at a cost of £3.8million to the fire service.
Any inquest will be held at Sussex East Coroner's Court.
Martin Winter, the fireworks factory owner, and his son Nathan Winter, were arrested in February 2008 on suspicion of the manslaughter of the two firefighters.
The arrests sparked calls for trading at the site to be suspended until all investigations are complete. The firm is still licensed to store more than 20 tonnes of explosives and has begun trading again.
The Health and Safety Executive has no powers to suspend a firm's licence while criminal investigations are under way.
Firefighters' representatives say the business should not be allowed to deal in fireworks until all the facts about the disaster are known.
Jim Parrott, South East secretary of the Fire Brigades Union, said, 'As we understand it there have been no changes to the way the people operate so the same dangers are there for our members.
'We have got to find out why that happened and how to prevent it happening again. You should have to find out what the problems are before you trade again.'
Martin Winter is a director of Festival Fireworks GB and five companies based in and around Lewes related to manufacture and sale of fireworks and fireworks displays.
Nathan Winter was not registered as a director of Festival Fireworks at the time of the disaster. But he has since been appointed director and secretary of Festival Special Events Ltd in High Street, Lewes, Festival Fireworks GB at Marlie Farm and Explosive Atmosphere Ltd at Ringmer, near Lewes.
In April 2008 Martin Winter, together with his sons Nathan and Stuart, returned to Eastbourne Custody Centre for questioning.
They were released on police bail until May 29.