Boss appears before jury accused of causing death of Upminster’s Lee Balkwell 12 years ago

Simon Bromley. Picture: John McLellan.

Simon Bromley. Picture: John McLellan. - Credit: John McLellan

The family of Lee Balkwell, who was found dead crushed in the mechanisms of a cement mixer, had their 12-year wait for a trial ended today after his boss appeared before a jury accused of unlawful killing.

Lee Balkwell

Lee Balkwell - Credit: Archant

Simon Bromley, 45, of Baldwin’s Farm, Dennises Lane, Upminster, had been working with his employee Mr Balkwell, 33, in July 2002 because concrete had hardened inside the cement mixer, Chelmsford Crown Court was told.

Prior to the accident, both men had been inside the drum of the mixer trying to loosen hardening concrete at Baldwin’s Farm.

After exiting the drum, Mr Balkwell, a father-of-one, became entangled on the outside of the machine and died after becoming trapped between the drum and chassis of the vehicle in the early hours of July 18, it was alleged.

Mr Bromley has pleaded not guilty to unlawful killing by negligence and failing to discharge his duty as an employer under the health and safety regulations in respect of the cement mixer.

The hearing continues.

See tomorrow’s Recorder for the full story.

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