Farmer and landowners in court for manslaughter over Sidmouth tractor driver’s death

PUBLISHED: 13:01 17 July 2018 | UPDATED: 14:46 17 July 2018

Farmer and landowners in court for manslaughter over the death of Kevin Dorman.

Farmer and landowners in court for manslaughter over the death of Kevin Dorman.

Archant

A farming company and one of their tenants have appeared before a Crown Court judge accused of the corporate manslaughter of a worker who died in a tractor crash.

A farming company and one of their tenants who have been accused of the corporate manslaughter of a worker who died in a tractor crash, have appeared before a Crown Court judge.

Clinton Devon Farms Partnership and 51-year-old George Perrott will both stand trial at Exeter Crown Court after denying charges of unlawful killing and failing to ensure the safety of an employee.

Amateur footballer Kevin Dorman, aged 25, died when a tractor which was towing a trailer, carrying six tons of grass cuttings, fell around 12 feet from a field into a sunken Devon lane.

He was working at Houghton Farm, Newton Poppleford, on May 19, 2014, when he was killed by the trailer which fell onto the cab of his tractor.

The court heard he had worked on the farm for about a year before his death.

Clinton Devon Farms Partnership, of Hawkerland Road, Colaton Raleigh, and Perrott, of Colebrook, Crediton, have both been accused of manslaughter.

They are alleged to have been grossly negligent in the maintenance and operation of the tractor and trailer.

They are also facing allegations under the Health and Safety at Work Act for failing to ensure the general health, safety and welfare of an employee.

Judge Paul Darlow set a timetable for the exchange of prosecution and defence papers and adjourned the case for a further preliminary hearing at Exeter Crown Court in September.

Clinton Devon Farms Partnership is a division of Clinton Devon Estates which manages 2,800 acres of organic farmland in the Lower Otter valley.

Clinton Devon Estates is Devon’s biggest private landowner with 17,000 acres in East and North Devon and 350 houses. It manages the holdings of Lord Clinton.

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