Thames Water prosecuted after worker is crushed to death in Walthamstow

Raymond Holmes was killed at Thames Water's Coppermill Lane site in Walthamstow

Raymond Holmes was killed at Thames Water's Coppermill Lane site in Walthamstow

First published in News
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A WATER company is being prosecuted for the death of a worker who was crushed by a vehicle.

Raymond Holmes, from Rayleigh, was working at Thames Water’s Coppermill Lane Site in Walthamstow when in collision with the vehicle.

The company is being prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive in a case being heard at Southwark Crown Court.

Mr Holmes, 60, was killed while working in a confined space at the site.

He was an employee of Thames Water at the time and a member of the GMB trade union.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) gave serious consideration to placing workplace manslaughter charges in this case but decided against it earlier this year passing the case to the Health and Safety Executive.

A CPS spokesperson said: "After carefully reviewing all the evidence, it was determined that there was insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction for the offence of manslaughter following the death of Raymond Holmes.

"The evidence was considered carefully in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors. As the case is currently being reviewed by the Health and Safety Executive, we are unable to provide further reasoning for our decisions at this stage.

"We will of course consider what more can be said concerning these decisions in future."

Thames Water is facing a single charge under the Health and Safety at Work Act, namely failure to esure the health, safety and welfare of its employees. 

The incident happened on April 30 2010, drawing criticism from unions about the length of time the case has taken to go to court.

Dave Knight, President of Waltham Forest Trades Council, said: "It is very wrong that it has taken over four years for this case to get to court. This delay can only have added to the family’s suffering."

Waltham Forest Trades Council, a local TUC body, has remembered Raymond and others who have died at work in the area every year on Workers Memorial Day, held annually on April 28 calling for an end to deaths and injuries at work.

The case has been adjourned until September 26.

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