Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 21°C

min temp: 11°C

Search

Kesgrave/Clacton: Haulier jailed and fined £50k for crush death accident at Ipswich docks

Neville Wightman

Neville Wightman

A haulier whose lorry loader tipped over and crushed a man to death at Ipswich Docks has been sentenced to 12 months in prison and fined £50,000.

Paul Napier, 48, was found guilty of the manslaughter of Neville Wightman, of Penzance Road, Kesgrave, last month following a trial at Ipswich Crown Court.

He had admitted failing to ensure the health and safety of Red & Marine employee Mr Whightman, 52, who was crushed to death, and his colleague Steven Burden, who was seriously injured in the incident, but had denied manslaughter.

At a sentencing hearing yesterday, His Honour Judge Devaux said that after considering all the mitigating circumstances, 12 months was the shortest tariff he could impose.

He said: “You are described as a ‘gentle giant’ who has been devastated by the accident and I have no doubt that the memory of that night will stay with you.”

During the trial, the court was told that Napier, of Inglenook, Clacton-on-Sea, had been grossly negligent by not taking the “essential and elementary” step of extending stabilisers before using a crane to unload pontoons on December 16, 2011.

A tearful Napier, who did not give evidence during the trial, addressed the court before the judge passed sentence.

He said: “I would just like to say how sorry I am to Neville’s family for all the pain and grief I have caused them and also how sorry I am to Steve’s family and Steve himself for the injuries he has sustained.

“I can’t bear to think how hard it has been for them because I know how hard it has been for me the past 17 months.

“I will never forget Neville. I classed him as a friend - and a very good friend. This accident will never go away and I feel the pain every day. I will never forget the accident and I will have to live with it for the rest of my life.

“Without my family and friends I would not have got through these past 17 months. Once again, I’m really sorry.”

The court heard from character witnesses called by defence barrister Nigel Lithman QC.

Kevin O’Riordan told the court that the accident had left his friend “devastated” and that he was no longer the same person.

He added: “I don’t think he will ever be the same again and that’s for obvious reasons.”

Judge Devaux declined Mr Lithman’s request to suspend the sentence.

Related articles

Victims of abuse at a private school are only getting a fraction of compensation they had been promised. Today more ex-pupils come forward to tell of their anger.

A resort’s rat infestation is at last in decline – after the rodents started taking the bait.

A heroic off-duty policeman who saved a woman from drowning in Ipswich has spoken out about the incident as he scooped an award for his life-saving actions.

Ex-Tractor Boys winger Kieron Dyer is just one of the celebrities who will feature at the first annual Fresh Start New Beginnings afternoon tea.

My Nan is my main inspiration for raising money, says Kate Filby, who’s one of hundreds of people ready for Macmillan’s World’s Biggest Coffee Morning

Three men and a 14-year-old boy have been arrested after police pursued a suspected stolen car from the A14.

Police were called to the A12 near East Bergholt this afternoon after a car collided with a bus.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24