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Farmer jailed for safety breaches after death of young woman dragged into machinery

Lauren Scott, who loved animals, was volunteering on the farm. Credit: Irving of Exeter

A man from Dawlish has been jailed for four and a half years after a woman died on his farm when she became trapped in machinery.

Lauren Scott, 20, was operating the Power Take Off machine on Springfield Farm last year when her hair and clothes got caught, she died instantly.

Neil Carpenter was convicted of gross negligence manslaughter after a trial at Exeter Crown Court.

The court heard Carpenter ran his farm "with a complete disrespect for safety" which ultimately cost Lauren her life.

Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Inspector Steve Davies said:

“His basic approach to health and safety showed a flagrant disregard for regulations that are there to protect individuals working at farms from injury and death."

Lauren suffered fatal injuries after being pulled into the shaft. Credit: Devon and Cornwall Police

The machine that Lauren was operating was poorly maintained and did not fully fit, meaning parts of it were exposed and broken.

Under farm safety rules, the equipment should have been sealed with a protective cover that would have cost just £75.

Carpenter has been sentenced to four and a half years for gross negligence manslaughter and 10 months for further health and safety offences.

Lauren's family made a statement at Exeter Crown court following the sentencing, saying:

“At only 20 years of age our sister has been taken from us far too soon, but our grief aside, today our thoughts are with Lauren herself.

Lauren has been deprived of a long and prosperous life, deprived of raising a family of her own, and to experience all that life would have offered her.

“Today over one year and eight months since Lauren’s passing, we are finally able to grieve, safe in the knowledge that her death wasn’t through fault of her own."