| 4.5°C Belfast

Market owners to stand trial over farmer's death


Tragedy: Harry McAnespie

Tragedy: Harry McAnespie

Tragedy: Harry McAnespie

The owners of a Co Tyrone livestock market are to stand trial on health and safety charges following the death of an elderly farmer, who succumbed to injuries after an incident involving a bullock.

Harry McAnespie (80) suffered severe head trauma at Clogher Mart on June 23, 2018.

He was airlifted to hospital but passed away in the early hours of the following day. The Health & Safety Executive launched an investigation which led to proceedings against Clogher Valley Livestock Producers Limited.

At Dungannon Magistrates Court, the company was represented by director Edwin Boyd. Charges included two counts of failing to ensure the health, safety and welfare of employees, as well as non-employed persons who may be affected by exposure to risks.

Mr Boyd confirmed he understood the charges against the company, and did not object to the court proceedings.

He declined to call witnesses or give evidence on his or the company's behalf at this stage.

A prosecution lawyer said there is a case to answer, which was agreed by District Judge Michael Ranaghan.

He ordered the matter to be returned to Dungannon Crown Court for arraignment next month.

Judge Ranaghan noted the presence of Mr McAnespie's widow and several family members, seated quietly in the public gallery.

"The court expresses it condolences on this very tragic incident," he said.

Bail was fixed at £750 and a defence barrister asked if his client could be excused from the standard procedure of going into custody to sign this, given the particular circumstances of the case.

The judge said he has previously ruled bail will always be signed in custody, "but this is an entirely different and tragic situation".

At the time of the incident, Clogher Valley Livestock Producers extended sympathy to Mr McAnespie's family, describing him as a long-standing customer.

They said: "This has been a most tragic incident. Harry was very well-known and highly respected in the farming community, and his loss will be keenly felt."

Please log in or register with belfasttelegraph.co.uk for free access to this article.

Already have an account?

Belfast Telegraph