Pub owner receives 9 years after boy dies from faulty electrics

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Two men were found to be altering circuits at The King Harold pub in Essex have been jailed following the death of seven-year-old Harvey Tyrrell in a pub garden in September 2018.

David Bearman, 73 who was the pubs owner, of Chelmsford, was sentenced yesterday at Snaresbrook Crown Court to nine years in prison for gross negligence manslaughter and abstracting electricity.

The electrician Colin Naylor, 74, of Rayleigh, was also sentenced to 12 months in prison for failing to discharge a duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act.

Harvey Tyrrell was electrocuted at the pub after he sat on a light and touched a railing causing an electric shock that proved fatal.

The Police found that landlord Bearman had often completed work on the electrics himself. He would also use friends and family to complete work, including his brother-in-law Naylor.

Multiple issues were detected at the premises as well as an illegal unmetered electrical supply.

It was discovered that the pub had its last full health and safety checks in 2009, that there were electrical defects listed including issues with wiring, cabling and that there was no current electrical test certificate for the premises.

Despite warnings from inspectors and multiple comments noting how dangerous the electrics were, Bearman failed to resolve any of the issues.

One incident resulted in Bearman himself suffering a major electrical shock just months prior to Harvey’s death.

Bearman is known to have called himself ‘an electrician’ despite having no qualifications.

The court also heard that the electrical installation of the light that caused Harvey’s death, and a significant amount of electrical maintenance at the property, had been completed by Naylor just three months previously.

On inspection, it was found that the metal casing of the light was live with electricity.

The electrical engineer Naylor claimed to have 50 years’ experience as a qualified electrician. He admitted that in April 2018, he had carried out work at the premises and had viewed one of the electrical distribution boards.

He said this gave him cause to ‘raise his eyebrows’, but having spoken to Bearman, he took the decision ‘not to get involved in that side of things’.

The inspection conducted following Harvey’s tragic death found that the entire distribution board serving the garden lights was not earthed.

Detective Sergeant Andy McAlister commented saying: “Bearman’s negligence and failure to ensure his venue was kept properly up to date with electrical checks has cost a young boy his life, something which could have easily been avoided. The sentencing today reflects the impact that his actions have had.

“Bearman had been given several warnings in relation to the state of the electrics within the premises and ignored these warnings, undoubtedly leading to poor Harvey’s death.

“I hope the sentencing begins to bring the family some peace, they have remained dignified throughout this long and undoubtedly heart-breaking court process.

“As a qualified electrician, Naylor had not only the ability, but also the responsibility, to ensure that the work he completed didn’t pose a risk to those visiting the venue.

“The decisions that both men have made cost the life of an innocent child and devastated a family.”