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Two companies go on trial after four Suffolk men crushed to death in Great Yarmouth

PUBLISHED: 13:51 02 May 2017 | UPDATED: 15:36 02 May 2017

It took a Norwich Crown Court jury just over an hour to clear him of the charges this morning. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

It took a Norwich Crown Court jury just over an hour to clear him of the charges this morning. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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Two companies have gone on trial today charged with safety offences after four Suffolk men were crushed to death six years ago.

The four men killed clockwise from top left, Peter Johnson, Tom Hazelton, Adam Taylor and Dan Hazelton.The four men killed clockwise from top left, Peter Johnson, Tom Hazelton, Adam Taylor and Dan Hazelton.

Daniel Hazelton, 30, his brother Thomas Hazelton, 26, Adam Taylor, 28, and Peter Johnson, 42, died in Great Yarmouth on January 21, 2011.

They were killed when a large steel cage they were working in collapsed in the Claxton Engineering Services’ Yard.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) brought charges against three companies and one director.

Two of those companies went on trial at Norwich Crown Court ue.

Claxton Engineering Services Ltd, of Ferryside, Ferry Road, Norwich, is charged under section three of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

The charge states that on January 21, 2011, its pressure test facility was not constructed in such a way to ensure persons not under its employment were not exposed to risk to their safety.

The company, which is represented by Richard Matthews QC in court, pleaded not guilty.

Hazegood Construction Ltd, of Bury Lodge, Bury Road, Stowmarket, Suffolk, is charged under section two and section three of the act.

The charges state that on January 21, 2011 it failed to ensure safety of its employee, Daniel Hazelton.

And on the same date, it did not ensure persons not under its employment were not exposed to risk of their safety.

The company was not represented in court, but not guilty pleas were entered.

A jury of 14 men and women were sworn in before lunch. Justice Jeremy Baker, presiding over the trial, said two of jury will be discharged once the prosection opening has finished.

A third company and its director have already pleaded guilty to charges brought forward by the HSE.

Encompass Project Management Ltd, of Old Market Street, Thetford, pleaded guilty to a charge under section three of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Its director, David Groucott, pleaded guilty to a charge under section 37.

Brothers Daniel and Thomas Hazelton, along with Peter Johnson were from Stanton, near Bury St Edmunds.

Adam Taylor was from Rickinghall, Suffolk.

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