Electrician made 'significant contribution' to boy's death, court hears

Harvey Tyrrell was electrocuted at the King Harold pub

Harvey Tyrrell was electrocuted at the King Harold pub - Credit: Met Police

An electrician “failed in his duty” to ensure a pub’s garden lights were safe, which proved to be a “significant contribution” to a young boy’s death, a court heard. 

Colin Naylor, 74, installed the outdoor lights at the King Harold pub, Harold Wood, in June 2018 – three months before seven-year-old Harvey Tyrrell was killed. 

The schoolboy died after he sat on one of the lights, while holding on to a nearby metal railing with his hand, causing electricity to “flow through his body” on September 11, 2018.  

The pub’s electrician Mr Naylor, from Rayleigh in Essex, denies manslaughter by gross negligence. He worked at the pub for three months between April and June 2018, earning £150-a-day. 

Prosecutor Duncan Penny QC told jurors at Snaresbrook Crown Court today (February 12) that Mr Naylor “turned a blind eye” to the state of the King Harold’s faulty electrics. 

Colin Naylor arrives at Snaresbrook Crown Court in London accused of causing the electrocution of se

Colin Naylor arrives at Snaresbrook Crown Court. - Credit: PA

Summing up, he said: “The reality of this case may well be that you have got someone who rather regrets the fact they turned a blind eye and didn’t do their job properly.” 

Mr Naylor told police the state of the pub’s distribution board in the cellar, known at fuse box DB1A, caused him to “raise an eyebrow” because it was “untidy”. 

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The defective garden lights were not properly earthed via that same board, nor were they sufficiently insulated to prevent water ingress, according to a Health and Safety investigation. 

Mr Penny continued: “So far as Mr Naylor is concerned, throughout a period of three months, he was never involved in testing of earthing arrangements of DB1A at any stage because he didn’t want to get involved, it wasn’t his job, or because it was going to be done by someone else further down the line.” 

Fuse board at King Harold pub

The fuse box Mr Naylor described as 'untidy' - Credit: CPS

He referenced the evidence of a builder and a barman, who both highlighted the state of the pub’s electrics to landlord David Bearman, Mr Naylor’s brother-in-law. 

Bearman, of Ardleigh Road, Romford, has pleaded guilty to manslaughter by gross negligence, as well as stealing electricity through the unmetered supply, and will be sentenced in due course. 

“The failure on the part of Mr Naylor is truly exceptionally bad,” concluded Mr Penny. 

The garden at the King Harold, where Harvey Tyrrell died of electrocution

The garden at the King Harold, where Harvey Tyrrell died of electrocution - Credit: CPS

“What he knew from the get-go provides a compelling picture that he failed in his duty and that failure made a significant contribution to young Harvey’s death.” 

Mr Naylor’s legal representative Graham Trembath QC will give a closing speech for the defence on Monday (February 15), before Judge Martyn Zeidman directs the jury of 10 to reach a verdict. 

The trial continues.