Boy electrocuted in pub garden after electrician ‘failed to make lighting safe’

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A pub landlord who admits manslaughter after a seven-year-old boy was electrocuted in his pub garden went to the fusebox while paramedics rushed to save the lad, a court heard.

Harvey Tyrrell was killed by a massive shock when he sat on a wall lamp and touched a metal railing while playing with his friend, jurors heard.

He collapsed when the power surge ‘flowed through his body’ as horrified drinkers ran to help him at the King Harold in Romford, Essex.

Colin Naylor, 73, an electrician with 50 years experience, is accused of manslaughter and failing to fit the premises with safe lighting.

Pub landlord David Bearman, also 73, has admitted causing Harvey’s death and stealing electricity from an unmetered supply while he ran the premises, jurors heard.

A proper check of the pub’s fuse box would have revealed the entire breaker panel was not properly connected to the earth, prosecutors claim.

Jurors have heard an earth connection provides a crucial ‘escape route’ for any faults in an electrical circuit.

Footage played to jurors at Snaresbrook Crown Court showed helicopter paramedics rush towards Harvey while Bearman walks to the back room of the pub and shuts the door behind him.

Moments later CCTV shows till screens behind the bar flicker off as a bar worker tries to use it.

Bearman then makes his way to the garden area.

Harvey’s mother Danielle watched tearfully as the footage was played to the court.

In a series of agreed facts read at the close of the prosecution case jurors heard Bearman bought the King Harold pub for £900,000 in 2009.

On 6 January 2009, Andrew Bourlet, an environmental health officer with the London Borough of Havering conducted a routine inspection of the pub and found a number of defects.

They included: Trip hazards in the cellar caused by damaged sold flooring; in the patio area caused by a loose carpet edge and in the beer garden caused by a missing cement fillet round the drain cover; an asbestos survey was required.

Electrical defects: broken external lamp fitting in patio area; internal grade wiring in the exterior; extensive use of trailing and fixed cable extension sockets; some poorly secured cabling in the kitchen; no current electrical test certificate for the premises.

Mr Bourlet wrote to Bearman informing him that defects with the electrical installation might be a source of ‘danger from electric shock, burn or fire’, the court was told.

He attended the pub in April 2009 and found the works had not been done and warned Bearman he could face criminal proceedings if they were not completed in three weeks.

Mr Bourlet attended again on 14 May 2009 and noted ‘there had not been any progress’, the court heard.

He noted that Bearman said various works, including ‘electrical work’ would be done, but no further inspection took place at the pub, it was said.

Naylor, of Hockley Road, Rayleigh, denies gross negligence manslaughter and failing to discharge a duty under the Health and Safety Act.

Naylor, who worked at the pub with his brother-in-law David Bearman, is accused of “raising his eyebrows” at the state of the electrics before he proceeded to continue to install the outside lighting regardless three months before the tragedy.

Snaresbrook Crown Court previously heard that Bearman, of Ardleigh Green Road, Hornchurch, has already pleaded guilty to gross negligence manslaughter and stealing tens of thousands of pounds of electricity last year.

The trial continues with Naylor expected to give evidence today.