Demolition boss accused of faking risk assessments after father-of-five died on Northamptonshire site

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The boss of a demolition company has appeared in court in Northampton over the death of a workman.

Shane Wilkinson, aged 33, a father of five, died at a Conquest Homes site in Main Road, Collyweston, during trench excavation and pipe-laying work.

Yesterday, 47-year-old Dean Wortley, of Lincolnshire company Clearview Demolition, appeared at Northampton Crown Court charged with manslaughter through “gross negligence” and failing to protect his workers - Mr Wilkinson and Daniel Miller - from danger by using the usual supports to stop the trench collapsing.

But a separate charge of perverting the course of justice alleges Wortley “made handwritten additions” in order to backdate risk assessments to nine days before the accident.

The charge alleges that the purpose was to make it appear to investigators the documents “had been signed and were in place prior to work beginning” and therefore also before Mr Wilkinson died.

Two other defendants appeared in court alongside Wortley yesterday.

James Taylor, aged 71 - of Main Road, Tallington, Lincolnshire - was also accused of perverting the course of justice, by requesting the documents for Wortley.

Collyweston man Andrew Winterton, aged 51 - the director of Conquest Homes LLP - was charged with failing to ensure the safety of both Mr Wilkinson and Mr Miller, and six workers employed by his own firm by carrying out proper risk assessments.

None of the defendants entered a plea.

The case was sent to Northampton Crown Court to be heard next month.