Company admits health and safety breach after four Suffolk men crushed to death in Great Yarmouth

The four men killed clockwise from top left, Peter Johnson, Tom Hazelton, Adam Taylor and Dan Hazelt

The four men killed clockwise from top left, Peter Johnson, Tom Hazelton, Adam Taylor and Dan Hazelton. - Credit: Archant

A company has admitted one health and safety breach after an accident in which four Suffolk men were crushed to death six years ago.

Daniel Hazelton, 30, his brother Thomas Hazelton, 26, Adam Taylor, 28, and Peter Johnson, 42, died in Great Yarmouth on January 21, 2011.

They were killed when a large steel cage they were working in collapsed in the Claxton Engineering Services' Yard.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) brought charges against three companies and one director.

Two of those companies were due to go on trial at Norwich Crown Court and a jury was sworn in but before the trial got underway Claxton Engineering Services offered a plea.

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The company pleaded guilty to contravening a requirement imposed under the Health and Safety at Work regulations on and before January 21, 2011.

On direction of Mr Justice Baker the jury found the company guilty of contravening a Health and Safety requirement.

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Mr Justice Baker discharged the jury from reaching a verdict on the alternative charge faced by Claxton Engineering and also discharged the jury from reaching any verdict on a second company, Hazegood Construction Ltd, from Stowmarket, who was facing two charges. All charges were ordered to lie on file.

Mr Justice Baker told the jury that Hazegood Construction Ltd had since gone into liquidation and said the prosecution had taken the view that it was not in the public interest to continue with the prosecution.

He said: 'The prosecution has considered the position and they have reached the view there is no longer any public interest in pursuing a prosecution against Hazegood Construction Ltd.'

A third company and its director have already pleaded guilty to charges brought forward by the HSE

Encompass Project Management Ltd, of Old Market Street, Thetford, pleaded guilty to a Health and Safety charge and its director David Groucott, pleaded guilty to a charge under section 37.

Brothers Daniel and Thomas Hazelton, along with Peter Johnson were from Stanton, near Bury St Edmunds.

Adam Taylor was from Rickinghall, Suffolk.

All parties will come back to court to be sentenced at a later date.

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