Fa­ther’s grief af­ter death on farm

Herald Express - - News -

THE fa­ther of a 20-year-old killed by farm ma­chin­ery has spo­ken of the mo­ment he found out his “beau­ti­ful” daugh­ter had died.

Lau­ren Scott was killed when she be­came cat­a­stroph­i­cally en­tan­gled in a spin­ning power shaft at the back of a trac­tor while help­ing out at the farm of Neil Car­pen­ter in Dawlish.

Car­pen­ter, 45, is stand­ing trial at Ex­eter Crown Court ac­cused of man­slaugh­ter by gross neg­li­gence for not en­sur­ing the equip­ment was safe. He de­nies the charge.

On the sec­ond day of the trial yes­ter­day, Lau­ren’s fa­ther, Gary Hooper, strug­gled to hold back tears as he re­called the after­math of the tragic event.

“I don’t re­mem­ber a lot about that day and what was said I’m afraid,” he said. “My con­cern was my daugh­ter ly­ing in the mud, her beau­ti­ful hair, like her mother’s, all cov­ered in mud.”

Lau­ren had been alone with Car­pen­ter on his 10-acre farm when her hair and clothes be­came en­tan­gled.

The prose­cu­tion al­lege Car­pen­ter had a ‘cav­a­lier at­ti­tude’ to safety.

Mr Hooper ar­rived at Spring­field Farm af­ter Car­pen­ter alerted the fam­ily shortly af­ter the in­ci­dent on March 4,

Lau­ren Scott 2017. He said: “I saw Lau­ren’s cloth­ing and her hair wrapped around the end of the prop shaft.” She died of mul­ti­ple in­juries at the scene.

Mr Hooper said Lau­ren, the sixth of seven chil­dren, had grown up with a love of an­i­mals. She worked at Pow­der­ham Cas­tle and also helped with horses at New­ton Ab­bot race­course.

Lau­ren’s brother, James, said in a state­ment that she had grown up around ma­chin­ery at their fa­ther’s garage and was aware of the dangers.

Car­pen­ter, who also works as a traf­fic en­force­ment of­fi­cer, has pleaded guilty to two charges brought un­der the Health and Safety Act 1974. He ac­cepts he had a duty of care to Lau­ren but dis­putes it was so gross as to amount to the crime of man­slaugh­ter. The trial con­tin­ues.

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