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Alan Hind, 28, left half a head after miracle escape from 25-ft fall

Updated: 26 Jun 2010
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Horrific injury: Labourer Alan Hind, 28, was left with half his head missing following a 25ft fall from a building he was working on

 

He was helping to tear down a building without any safety training when a fall from 25ft changed Alan Hind's life and features forever.

 
Left with half a head and brain damage, the 28-year-old labourer today welcomed the conviction of of his boss who was found to have breached safety laws at the work site.

 

Mr Hind suffered massive head injuries, including extensive skull fractures, a badly broken jaw, a severed optic nerve that left him blind in one eye and irreparable brain damage.

He also suffered kidney damage and was left deaf in one ear following the February 2008 accident.

Surgeons carried out three complex operations and six months after his fall used a titanium plate to replace a large section of shattered skull.

Parts of his brain were so damaged they had to be removed.

At Carlisle Crown Court, a jury convicted Mr Hind's supervisor Eric Murray, 63, who allowed him to work on the roof of a building at Watt's Yard, off London Road, Carlisle, without safety equipment or training.

Murray's older brother Robert, 65, admitted two health and safety breaches at an earlier court hearing.

Following the trial, Mr Hind, recalled waiting for the plate to be inserted in his skull saying: 'That was a frightening time.

'There was nothing to protect my brain - just skin. I was worried to go out.

'I didn't like to be around lots of people in case I bumped my head.'

Mr Hind, of Lockerbie, Scotland, has been unable to work since his accident. He welcomed the guilty verdict but warned other young workers: 'If it's not safe, it's not worth it.'

His solicitor, Nick Gutteridge, said: 'We are pleased to see the Murrays held to account but the tragedy is that this accident could have been avoided.

'Alan has been permanently disabled by his head injury: as well as the physical damage to his hearing and sight, he also suffers pain, flashbacks, memory loss and some personality changes.

Eric Murray, from Dalton, near Lockerbie, Scotland, denied being in charge of dismantling the building at Watt's Yard on the day of Alan Hind's accident.

But after a four-day trial the jury convicted him, accepting the prosecution argument that he was supervising the workmen and could have prevented the accident.

Brother Robert, from Annan, who had bought the building being dismantled, had earlier admitted two health and safety breaches linked to the accident.

The trial heard evidence of how Eric Murray - who has years of experience in erecting and dismantling buildings - allowed workers onto the roof of the building without any proper safety equipment or without adequate training for safe working at height.

Mr Hind, whose usual job was as a slaughterman, had no previous experience of working in the construction industry.

Murray said erecting scaffolding would have been too expensive and repeatedly claimed that he had simply been just one of the dismantling team, working under the direction of his brother.

The brothers will both be sentenced at Carlisle Crown Court on July 19.

 

SOURCE: Daily Mail

 

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