Jail for pub landlord & electrician following manslaughter of a seven-year-old boy who was electrocuted while playing in a beer garden

Published on 16th Apr 2021
A pub owner has been jailed for nine years for the manslaughter of a seven-year-old boy who was electrocuted while playing in a beer garden.  Harvey Tyrrell suffered a fatal shock at the King Harold in Romford, east London, when he touched poorly installed outdoor lights on the afternoon of September 11 2018.  The pub’s owner David Bearman, 73, was sentenced to nine years by Snaresbrook Crown Court on Thursday after previously pleading guilty to gross negligence manslaughter.

Judge Martyn Zeidman QC said: “This pub was a disgrace. And… in my view, a timebomb waiting to go off.”  The electrician said to have installed the lighting, Bearman’s 74-year-old brother-in-law Colin Naylor, was jailed for a year after he was found guilty of failing to discharge a duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act following a trial.

Naylor, of Hockley Road, Rayleigh, Essex, was acquitted of gross negligence manslaughter.  The judge said: “I have no doubt that both of you were aware of the danger and each of you, for your own slightly different reasons, chose to do nothing about it.  “And now of course, it all ends in tears. In a sentence, Harvey’s death is a tragedy, and it is one that must never be allowed to be forgotten.”  He told Bearman: “You gambled with the lives of your customers, putting money over safety,” adding: “I regard this as a bad case and one in which you put your love of money over the safety of your clientele.

“The evidence drives me to the conclusion that you adopted throughout a bombastic, arrogant and dangerous attitude.”  The judge told Naylor: “You were aware of the risk of death but chose to turn a blind eye to it.”  The court heard environmental health inspectors had identified “numerous electrical defects” in 2009.  But the obligation to engage a “competent person” to fix the problems was “never fulfilled by Mr Bearman up and until the day of Harvey’s death”, said prosecutor Duncan Penny QC.  “He was electrocuted as a result of the unsafe installation of a lighting unit in that garden combined with a catalogue of electrical failures found in due course during the inspection of that public house by a series of experts who subsequently came to investigate,” he said.

The court heard the lights had significant defects, including a lack of appropriate insulation to prevent water getting in, and no earthing at the distribution board from which the circuit was powered.  Read the full story here 

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39367646 9474547 Naylor had installed the lighting circuit around the King Harold a 50 1618496996092

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