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Stockton handyman's death was accident, inquest jury concludes
THE death of a former builder and handyman at his employers’ family home was recorded as accidental at an inquest today (Friday, November 1).
Les Buller, 59, from Roseworth in Stockton, was working to supply electricity to a barn at Moor House Farm, Stillington, near Stockton when he was electrocuted.
The property belonged to Simon and Karen Brown, of long-established family firm, industrial suppliers Francis Brown Ltd, where Mr Buller had worked for many years.
The inquest, held at Teesside Magistrates Court in Middlesbrough, heard that Mr Buller was installing a cable in the barn at about 2pm on Thursday, March 15 last year when the accident happened.
Assessing the evidence for the inquest jury coroner Claire Bailey summed up Mrs Brown’s testimony.
She said: “Mrs Brown heard a shout. At first she thought it was her dogs but then, realising it was Mr Buller, quickly put hte dogs into the back of her car and went to the barn.
"There she came across Mr Buller who she said was lying back on a grass collector and was purple in the face with both hands clenched into fists. There was smell of burning flesh and tiny wisps of smoke coming from him. Mrs Brown put her arms around him and shouted his name and then rang for an ambulance.”
Eventually Mr Buller was airlifted to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough where he was declared dead.
A post-mortem examination concluded he had been electrocuted and a police investigation established there were no suspicious circumstances.
Health and Safety Executive inspector, Richard Burnard, said better safety equipment might have enabled Mr Buller to establish a conductor was actually live.
The jury took less than 15 minutes to record a verdict of accidental death.
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