Judges dismiss developer’s manslaughter appeal

The director of a housing development company who was jailed for manslaughter in June 2017 after a worker was crushed to death at a building site has failed to clear his name.

Andrew William Winterton, the construction site manager and director of Conquest Homes, attended London’s Criminal Appeal Court on 6 November to argue he was the victim of a miscarriage of justice.

However, Lady Justice Macur and two other judges dismissed Winterton’s challenge and said the original trial judge was right to leave the case to a jury.

Winterton was convicted of gross negligence manslaughter and sentenced to four years in jail on 30 June 2017 after a nine-week trial at Northampton Crown Court.

He also received a one-year prison sentence for breaching s 7 of the Health and Safety at Work Act after he failed to take reasonable care for the safety of himself and others affected by his actions, and two eight-month prison sentences for “causing a corporate body to commit an offence”.

The case involved the death of Shane Wilkinson, a ground worker at the Conquest Homes building development in Collyweston, Northamptonshire, which involved the construction of nine new homes.

On 4 September 2014, only a few days after Wilkinson had arrived on site, the ground worker was standing near the edge of an unshored trench when its wall collapsed, burying him beneath earth and rubble. He sustained severe blunt trauma to his head, which caused a large skull fracture. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

During the original trial, the court was told that Winterton, who was responsible for site safety, had ignored basic measures. The excavation digger-driver, Dean Wortley, had not properly or adequately secured the trench sides. He was also handed a prison sentence at the original trial.