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Last Updated: Monday, 20 March 2006, 16:09 GMT
Unlawful killing in barrier death
Kenneth Farr
The youngest of Mr Farr's three daughters was in the car
A verdict of unlawful killing has been reached by a jury at the inquest into the death of a father-of-three killed by a supermarket car park barrier.

Kenneth Farr, 37, of Penarth, died when the barrier at Asda in Cardiff Bay smashed through his car windscreen and hit him on the head in May 2002.

The inquest heard how the car park barrier was difficult to close and was not locked into its securing post.

Asda has said it will seek a judicial review into the decision.

A spokesman for the supermarket chain said it believed the jury should not have been given the option of unlawful killing.

Helen Farr outside the inquest
My husband's death was pointless and futile and totally avoidable
Helen Farr, widow

"In the light of this meticulous investigation, it is simply unjust that the inquest jury were permitted to consider an unlawful killing verdict - especially as an inquest is designed to find out facts, not apportion blame," he said.

But Mr Farr's widow, Helen, has said that the verdict was the only one the jury could have returned.

"This has been a triumph of common sense. To my mind this is the right verdict brought in by people like us that understand what it's like to live every day the sort of life we led," she said.

"My husband's death was pointless and futile and totally avoidable."

South Wales Police has said it now intends to review the sufficiency of the evidence relating to the death of Mr Farr to consider any future prosecution.

Detective Superintendent Dave Bishop said earlier papers submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) showed there was insufficient evidence for any manslaughter offences to be investigated.

But following the hearing he said: "In view of the verdict of unlawful killing, the CPS, South Wales Police and the local Environmental Health Department will review the sufficiency of the evidence, and consider any future prosecution."

The Cardiff inquest, which lasted for two weeks, heard how Mr Farr and his three-year-old daughter Jessica had gone on a shopping trip to buy a garden shed.

Car at scene of barrier coming down at Asda supermarket, Cardiff Bay, 2002.
The padlock on the barrier was broken, the inquest heard

But as the electronics company worker drove into the car park of the Asda store, a swing steel barrier was blown into the path of his car by a gust of wind.

It crashed through his windscreen striking him on the head before going through the driver's side window.

Kane Germon, who was driving in front of Mr Farr told the inquest how he heard a loud bang and saw that the barrier had smashed through the window of the car behind him.

He told how after he took three-year-old Jessica out of the car to be looked after by his wife, he went to help Mr Farr - but he was unable to save him.

Mr Farr was pronounced dead in hospital following the incident.

The jury heard how the barrier in the car park had not been properly secured and witnesses reported seeing it swinging in the wind.

But the manager in charge of the Cardiff Bay store at the time told the inquest he thought the barrier was checked daily and had not received any complaints about it from customers.

The court also heard about two similar incidents at other Asda stores when barriers had struck cars, and in one case Asda was fined for breaching health and safety regulations.

Since the accident, all similar security barriers have been removed from Asda car parks throughout the UK, the inquest was told.

Kenneth Farr's widow gives her reaction to the verdict


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