Firm not to blame after worker’s fall from roof
A building firm has been cleared of blame over the death of a workman who fell from a roof at Eastwell Manor near Ashford.
S e l f - e mpl o y e d S t e p h e n Twyman plunged eight metres onto a patio in March 2014 while working on a flat roof.
Now a jury at Canterbury Crown Court has acquitted Jones Building Contractors of Hythe – the firm which hired the roofer to carry out repair work – of two charges of failing to discharge its duty and breaching Health and Safety Regulations.
James Hodivala, prosecuting, had claimed that the company had not taken enough care to ensure that safety measures were in place but after a weeklong trial the jury returned not guilty verdicts against the firm, which is based in Portland Road, Hythe.
Mr Twyman, 51, had been working on a flat roof near a castellated wall with neither a harness nor scaffolding to prevent him falling in March 2014.
His friend and work colleague Lee Gregory told the jury that he had known Mr Twyman since they were teenagers and they had worked together on a number of occasions.
He said: “He was a big fella, overweight but fairly active. He was a good 20-odd stone but he wouldn’t admit it.
“He was very likeable. I don’t know anyone who didn’t like Steven.”
He said he saw his friend sitting on a parapet wall smoking a cigarette.
“I did tell him to get off because it was dangerous but as normal he would ignore you,” he added.
“He was a work colleague and a friend and his loss is a difficult one to bear.”
One of the company’s directors and a friend of Mr Twyman, John Jones who was present throughout the trial, wept as the verdicts were announced.
At an earlier inquest, a verdict of accidental death was recorded.
Mr Twyman suffered multiple injuries as a result of the fall.
The air ambulance, an ambulance, a paramedic car and a HART ( Hazardous Area Response Team) vehicle attended the accident but the roofer died at the scene.
A building firm has been cleared of blame over the death of a workman who fell from a roof at Eastwell Manor