Search

M25 Brentwood works tragedy: Construction firm and tipper driver deny death charges

17:39 02 May 2014

The horror death of a foreman working on the M25 widening in Essex when a 23-tonne bulldozer reversed over him happened because he was in the wrong place and the driver didn’t know where he was a court was told today.

Mihai Hondru, 39, of Poplar Way, Ilford, died on the site near Brentwood on October 20, 2010, when he was marshalling a tipper truck dumping its load of earth for bulldozer driver Stephen Blackmore, from Cullompton to spread.

The prosecution at Chelmsford Crown Court alleges that construction firm, J McArdle Contracts Ltd, of Colnbrook, near Slough, which went into administration last year, and Blackmore, 55, of Manitoba Gardens, Cullompton, are both responsible for Mr Hondru’s death.

Both the company and Blackmore deny health and safety failures which led to the death of unmarried agency worker Mr Hondru on the clockwise section of the M25 near the A127 junction.

J McArdle Contracts Ltd pleads not guilty to failing to discharge its duty by ensuring that Mr Hondru was not exposed to risk of collision with heavy machinery. It is claimed that it should have adequately segregated vehicles and working pedestrians.

However,the company claims Blackmore should not have operated his heavy plant before he knew where the vehicle marshall was.

Blackmore, who owns the bulldozer, was a sub-contractor for McArdle. He pleads not guilty to failing to operate the New Holland D180 earthmoving tractor in a safe manner, thereby causing injury to Mr Hondru. He claims that Mr Hondru behaved entirely unexpectedly and unpredictably.

Giving evidence on behalf of McArdle, its then deputy MD Nick Roper told the jury the specialist earthworks company had a method of working practices and controls in place in October.

Mr Roper said: “Given the controls in place we really couldn’t understand how the accident happened. Of the investigation we went through we felt it was the appropriate and safe system of work.”

Blackmore told the jury that he had worked with Romanian Mr Hondru, who spoke broken English, for a number of weeks and he had spoken to him several times about his position as a banksman, or marshaller.

He said : “He would sometimes walk up between the dozer and batten and I told him to watch himself because it was a dangerous place.”

In cross-examination, Blackmore accepted he reversed not knowing where Mr Hondru was.

The jury heard earlier that the tipper driver saw Mr Hondru walk behind the tracks of the dozer.

The trial continues.

Latest Romford News Stories

Yesterday, 15:00
Sue Triggs, Russell Triggs and Amber Triggs, nine who has cerebal palsy and Kelly McCleoud, Rob McCleoud, Molly-May McCleoud, eight and Max McCleoud, five who are organising fundraisers in Barking and Dagenham to raise money for an operation for Amber

Friends and family of a nine-year-old with cerebral palsy are on a mission to raise £30,000 for an operation that could enable her to walk.

Yesterday, 12:00
Picture: ThinkstockPhotos-164922920.jpg / Carlos Gomez Bové

A “proactive” stance in encouraging male domestic abuse victims to come forward is not being taken by Havering Council, according to the chairman of a charity.

Yesterday, 10:00
Britannia Parking anti-social issues

Shocking images showing children hanging from the third storey of a town centre car park have provoked a safety investigation.

Saturday, April 30, 2016
Bernard Thomas, holding the plant judged as the best succulent, with treasurer Janice Coombes, Adrian Finney and Bill Izatt

Interested in growing succulent plants? The Havering British Cactus and Succulent Society is on the lookout for new members.

Saturday, April 30, 2016
Level 42 fan Julian Hall with some of his memorabilia collection

When Julian Hall spotted an advertisement for at-the-time unknown band Level 42 in the Ilford Recorder in 1981, he decided to go to the gig on a whim.

Saturday, April 30, 2016
A TfL Rail train. Picture: Hammersfan/Wikimedia Commons

TfL Rail trains from Shenfield to Ilford over the Bank Holiday weekend will be replaced by buses due to engineering works.

Friday, April 29, 2016
Drapers' Academy hosted a debate on the EU so its students can be informed ahead of the referendum

Harold Hill students got the chance to grill the borough’s politicians in a fiery and passionate debate today about the EU referendum.

Friday, April 29, 2016
Members of the Havering Quilters made dresses for girls in third world countries out of pillowcases. Photo: Susan Persaud

Members of a sewing club have turned pillowcases into pretty decorated dresses for young girls living in third world countries.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

News from your area

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

Competitions

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Yummy traditional afternoon teas for two

MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Traditional Afternoon Teas for two at a location of your choice! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe