Firm guilty of corporate manslaughter, fined £2m, and directors jailed after yard workers drowned in pig feed

June 17, 2022

A food waste recycling company has been found guilty of corporate manslaughter and fined £2 million after two employees drowned in a tanker of semi-liquid pig feed.

Nathan Walker, 19, and Gavin Rawson, 35, died in December 2016 at Greenfeeds Limited in Normanton, Leicestershire.

The firm’s managing directors – Gillian and Ian Leivers – and manager Stewart Brown were also convicted and sentenced.

On 22 December Mr Walker, who was a member of yard staff at the company, climbed into the tanker to clean it after it was found it could not be fully emptied.

He got into difficulty and his colleague Mr Rawson attempted to rescue him. The men were released after a saw was used to cut holes in the side of the tanker. Emergency services attempted to resuscitate them but they died at the scene.

A post-mortem examination concluded both Mr Walker and Mr Rawson died as a result of drowning.

During the trial, the prosecution accused the owners of the company of putting profits before the safety of their employees.

Det Con Kirsty Iqbal, from Leicestershire Police, said: “Investigations showed that the system which was used to clean out the tankers at Greenfeeds Limited was so fundamentally dangerous that fatal consequences were virtually certain.

“Mr Walker and Mr Rawson had their futures taken away from them simply because the firm did not have the correct safety procedures and equipment in place.”

Greenfeeds Limited were found guilty of two counts of corporate manslaughter.

Gillian Leivers, 60, of Fosse Road in Newark, Nottinghamshire, was found guilty of two counts of gross negligence manslaughter.

The company had already pleaded guilty to failing to ensure the health and safety of its employees. Mrs Leivers and her husband Ian Leivers, 59, of Fosse Road, Newark, were convicted of allowing Greenfeeds to commit this offence.

Stewart Brown, 69, of Fernwood Close in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, was found guilty of failing to ensure the health and safety of his co-workers. He was cleared of two counts of gross negligence manslaughter.

Yesterday, during the sentencing hearing, Mrs Leivers was jailed for 13 years while Mr Leivers was handed 20 months behind bars. Mr Brown was sentenced to a year in prison, suspended for two years, for failing to take reasonable care for the health and safety of others.

Ms Leivers was also found guilty of a separate health and safety offence and banned from being a company director for 15 years.

 

This is valid as of 17th June 2022.

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