Edwinstowe pit manager cleared of health and safety breach

A PIT manager from Edwinstowe who was accused of health and safety breaches following the death of a miner has been cleared by a judge.

Terence Davison (53) was assistant under-manager when the accident happened at Daw Mill Colliery, in Warwickshire, in June 2006.

He and mine manager John Alstead (54), of Selby, North Yorkshire, denied breaching health and safety regulations and their trial at Sheffield Crown Court collapsed last Tuesday on the orders of the judge.

The jury had previously been told that West Bridgford miner Trevor Steeples (46) died after he was overcome by methane at Daw Mill - one of the few remaining pits in the country.

Mr Steeples was a foreman at the pit and had worked as a miner for many years.

The court was also told about the brave efforts of his fellow workers to get to him and then bring him to the surface.

After the jury had been disbanded, a spokesman for the Health and Safety Executive said: “On legal advice, the Health and Safety Executive has decided to offer no further evidence in the prosecution of Terence Davison and John Alstead.

“However, the prosecution of UK Coal in relation to the deaths of four men, including the death of Trevor Steeples, in separate underground incidents at its collieries in the Midlands is ongoing.

“HSE will not comment further until this case concludes.”

UK Coal has already admitted breaches in relation to the deaths of the three other miners, two of whom also died at Daw Mill.

The other was Paul Milner (44), of Sycamore Street, Church Warsop, who died at Welbeck Colliery in November 2007.

The company is expected to be sentenced later this year.