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Two men jailed following death on site

Two men have been sentenced to a total of five years in jail after a trench collapsed and completely buried a man working on a building site in Northamptonshire.

Andrew Winterton, director and site manager at Northamptonshire-based housebuilder Conquest Homes, was convicted of gross negligence manslaughter. 

The 52-year-old, of High Street, Collyweston, was sentenced to four years in jail, two of which he will spend on licence. He was also ordered to pay costs of £90,500.

Self-employed Dean Wortley, trading as Clearview Demolition, was sentenced to 12 months in prison for health and safety failings.

The 48-year-old, of Market Deeping, will spend six of those months on licence. He was ordered to pay £20,000 costs.

The sentences follow the death of Shane Wilkinson, who was working as a grounds worker at a Conquest Homes site in Collyweston in September 2014.

Mr Wilkinson was standing next to a deep trench that had been incorrectly excavated by trench digger-driver Mr Wortley.

An unsecured trench wall collapsed and Mr Wilkinson was completely buried underneath rubble.

He was pronounced dead at the scene after his body was recovered.

Northamptonshire Police detective superintendent Steve Woliter said Mr Wilkinson’s death was “avoidable” and a “terrible loss of life”.

“Shane’s death could easily have been avoided if Winterton and Wortley had shown any regard for basic safety measures on the site,” Mr Woliter said.

“No sentence imposed will ever turn back time for Shane or his family; however, I do hope this sentence sends out a clear message to others that adequate safeguards must be put in place to prevent people from harm.”

The sentence marks the first case of gross negligence manslaughter to be successfully tried in Northamptonshire.

Conquest Homes declined to comment. 

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