Ipswich Docks death: Court verdict

An Essex lorry driver has been found guilty of gross negligence manslaughter at Ipswich Crown Court.

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Family tribute to dead dock worker

The following statement is being issued on behalf of Neville Wightman’s family:

On the night of 16th December 2011, we lost someone very special. My husband, Neville Wightman was crushed to death. Neville was not only a loving husband but a wonderful father to Bradley, our son.

He was always willing to help his family, friends and work colleagues. He retained a wealth of knowledge, which he built up from his career, and he would share this with others. What a waste of his life.

We are still grieving and others are also grieving with us. It will take time to heal this huge void in our lives but his memory will always remain with us. T

Those responsible for Neville’s death will never know what they have done to our family, nor the pain we are feeling. However they will have to live with the consequences for the rest of their life.”

– Wightman family

Gaye and Bradley would like to thank Suffolk Police and the Health and Safety Executive for all their support.

HSE: Death could have been avoided

Scene of the incident Credit: ITV News

Neville Wightman, 52, died after he was crushed when a section of pontoon tipped off the back of a lorry driven by Paul Napier from Essex.

Speaking after the verdict Health and Safety Executive Inspector Antonina Drury said:

“This tragic incident could easily have been avoided had Paul Napier followed the basic rules of undertaking a safe lifting operation.

“Had he ensured the right equipment was properly deployed, and had he kept everyone safely clear of the lifting zone, then Mr Wightman would still be alive.

“This case demonstrates all too graphically what can go wrong, and why extreme care must be taken all times during the planning, management and execution of such operations.”

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Driver to be sentenced next month

An Essex lorry driver has been found guilty of gross negligence manslaughter at Ipswich Crown Court.

The jury returned a guilty verdict in relation to the gross negligence manslaughter charge in connection with Neville Wightman's death and Paul Napier will be sentenced next month.

Following the trial Detective Inspector Kevin Hayward from the Joint Norfolk and Suffolk Major Investigation Team who oversaw the investigation said:

This was a complex investigation which we carried out with the assistance of the Health and Safety Executive. I hope the verdict at court today will go someway to healing the pain Neville Wightman’s family have gone through over the past 18 months since his tragic and untimely death.

– Detective Inspector Kevin Hayward

Lorry driver guilty over Ipswich docks death

The scene at Ipswich Docks Credit: ITV News

An Essex lorry driver has been found guilty of gross negligence manslaughter at Ipswich Crown Court.

Paul Napier, 48, from Clacton-on-sea, Essex was found guilty after the ten-day trial.

Neville Wightman, 52, died after he was crushed when a section of pontoon tipped off the back of a lorry parked on Cliff Road, Ipswich in December 2011.

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