Page last updated at 17:32 GMT, Friday, 11 December 2009

Farm fined over gardener's death

An organic farm has been ordered to pay more than £90,000 after a gardener fell from a digger bucket and was run over.

Tony Cripps, 57, was riding in the bucket at Daylesford Organic farm, in Gloucestershire when the accident happened on 5 June 2007.

Mr Cripps, of Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, had been employed at the farm for two months before his death.

Daylesford Organic Farms Limited pleaded guilty to an offence under the Health and Safety at Work Act.

Mr Cripps was on his way to pick elderflowers when the accident happened.

Gloucester Crown Court was told Mr Cripps had been employed at Daylesford for just two months before his death.

He was riding in the bucket along with a colleague when he was tipped out, possibly after it hit a bump or rut.

'Substantial assets'

Adrian Darbishire, defending, said the company "set out to achieve the very highest standards in everything that it did" - but in some aspects of health and safety management had not reached that standard.

The farm employed around only 20 people and had a turnover of around £700,000 in 2006, the court was told.

Sentencing the business - owned by the wife of JCB chairman Sir Anthony Bamford - Judge William Hart said there was a "old fashioned, traditional and relaxed approach" on the farm - which does not make profit.

Judge Hart ordered the company to £65,000 with £27,500 costs.

But he noted that "by modern standards" it had not carried out adequate risk assessments.

Sir Anthony and Lady Carole were not present for Friday's hearing.

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