Firm’s potential fine ‘is no consolation for huge loss’ says Nuneham Courtenay fork lift driver's family

Mark Williams

Mark Williams

First published in News Herald Series: Photograph of the Author by , Crime Reporter, also covering Barton and Wood Farm. Call me on (01865) 425427

THE family of forklift truck driver killed on a building site has said a big fine for the guilty construction firm would be no consolation for them.

Costain Ltd was found guilty this week of health and safety breaches following the death of Nuneham Courtenay dad-of-two Mark Williams, 41. But yesterday his stepfather Tom Long said: “They have lost the case but we have lost something irreplaceable.”

Roofer Mr Williams died instantly when the telehandler vehicle he was driving toppled over on a Newbury building site in July 2011.

And after a four-week trial brought by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), site contractor Costain Ltd was found guilty of all four counts on Thursday.

The firm is now facing a large fine when it is sentenced at Reading Crown Court on April 23.

Banbury firm Attleys Roofing, Mr Williams’s employer for 23 years, was cleared of the same charges.

But yesterday, Mr Williams’s mother Shenda Williams-Long and her husband Tom Long said Costain Ltd should have admitted the charges long ago.

Mr Long, 69, said: “We are the only losers. The only ones who have who have lost anything. They will pay the fine and move on.”

Mr Williams also left behind his partner Sam Collins, their two daughters Tilly, seven, and Ellie, 12, and his sister Sharon Williams, 47, who lives in Garsington.

Mrs Williams-Long, 66, went to court every day and said she had to leave the courtroom when details of her son’s injuries were heard.

She said: “I was determined to stay to find out what happened that day and we did get a lot of answers.”

Mr Long spent four weeks in intensive care at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital after suffering a brain haemorrhage in May last year – something he puts down to the stress of his stepson’s death.

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Now every night the family lights a candle by Mr Williams’s grave in the village.

Mrs Williams-Long said: “Our family is now different.

“He was the backbone of the family, but we keep it together for Ellie and Tilly.”

Both of the companies had denied the counts that included two of failure to conduct a suitable and sufficient risk assessment, one of failure to ensure health and safety and welfare of an employee at work, and one of exposing others to a risk to health and safety.

HSE inspector Andrew Moore said after the verdicts: “The death of Mark Williams was tragic but entirely preventable.

“Costain had clear responsibilities but ultimately failed in its duty to manage the risks arising from the use of telehandlers.”

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