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Jury blames bulldozer driver for death of marshal working on M25 in Brentwood

Thursday, May 8, 2014
9:13 AM

A bulldozer driver must wait to hear his fate after a jury blamed by him for the death of a marshal working on the M25 in Brentwood.

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And a contractor from Colnbrook near Slough must also wait until July to be sentenced for their role in the horror incident, the judge decided on Wednesday.

A vehicle marshal working on the M25 widening was killed when a 23-tonne bulldozer reversed over him, died because of the actions of the driver and a company, a jury has decided.

Romanian Mihai Hondru, 39, of Poplar Way, Ilford, died on the site near junction 27 at Brentwood in October 2010. He was marshalling a tipper truck dumping its load of earth for bulldozer driver Stephen Blackmore, 55, of Devon, to spread.

The court heard that Blackmore last saw Mr Hondru to the offside of his bulldozer.

Blackmore reversed for 20m-30m and then saw Mr Hondru on the ground in front of his machine.

The Health and Safety Executive brought a prosecution against his employer and the bulldozer driver.

Specialist earthworks company J McArdle Contracts Ltd of which went into administration last year pleaded not guilty but was convicted of failing to discharge its duty by ensuring that Mr Hondru was not exposed to risk of collision with heavy machinery.

It should have adequately segregated vehicles and working pedestrians, claimed the prosecution.

Blackmore, who owns the bulldozer, was a sub-contractor for McArdle. He pleaded not guilty but was also convicted of failing to operate the tractor in a safe manner, thereby causing injury to Mr Hondru.

The jury at Chelmsford Crown Court returned a unanimous verdict of guilty against Blackmore and found McArdle guilty by a majority of 11-1. Judge John Dodd QC adjourned sentence until 4 July.

Read more:

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

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