Labourer left with half a head following fall

Grant Prior 12 years ago
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A labourer lost one side of his head and suffered severe brain damage after falling 25ft during demolition work.

Alan Hind,28, has been left with life changing features following the accident which saw his former boss convicted in court last week

The Daily Mail reported that 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.

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