Inquest opened for builders killed in Worlingworth wall collapse Kevin Ruffles and Matthew Skeet

Police at the scene of the wall collapse in Worlingworth

Police at the scene of the wall collapse in Worlingworth

Jurors at an inquest for two men have been shown a video reconstruction of the incident in which they died.

Matthew Skeet

Matthew Skeet - Credit: Contributed

Kevin Ruffles, aged 57 from Hollesley, and Matthew Skeet, aged 19 from Melton, were at a building site in Worlingworth in October 2010 when a wall collapsed on top of them, killing them both.

The pair had been carrying out groundworks as part of the renovation of The Old Maltings building for site owner Elliston Steady & Hawes.

On the afternoon of October 21 the two men had been working alone on site when the east gable wall of the building fell away from the rest of the structure.

Earlier today an 11-strong jury was sworn in at the mens’ inquest, held at IP-City Centre, and the first evidence heard.

The start of the hearing included a video shown to those present which explained a number of terms used in the building industry.


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It also featured a digital, video reconstruction of the wall’s collapse and the likely events leading up to it.

This showed the brick wall had slipped into a trench dug inside the building and then toppled towards Mr Ruffles and Mr Skeet, crushing them.

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The inquest heard how the maltings building was to be converted into residential property but its foundations were not deep enough to satisfy modern regulations.

The two builders were engaged in the work to strengthen these foundations.

Senior coroner for Suffolk Peter Dean read out information from the post-mortem examination reports for both men.

Both were identified by members of their family with Mr Ruffles described as having died from multiple injuries, including to his head and chest, with several ribs fractured.

He was not under the influence of any drugs or alcohol and there was no evidence of significant natural disease which could have contributed to his death.

The post-mortem examination of Mr Skeet’s body also found he was not under the influence of drink or drugs and no evidence of natural disease was found.

He also suffered multiple injuries, again to his head and chest, as well as significant internal injuries to the left side of his body including a collapsed lung.

Members of both Mr Ruffles and Mr Skeet’s families were present at the inquest, which is expected to last for around two weeks.

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