Artist News Legal Live Business

Door manufacturer fined over death of Fisherman’s Friends singer and tour manager

By | Published on Friday 11 November 2016

Fisherman's Friends

A Shropshire company was recently fined £30,000 in relation to an incident in 2013 when Trevor Grills of Fisherman’s Friends, and the vocal group’s tour manager Paul McMullen, were killed after a two-tonne steel door fell on them at Guildford’s G Live venue. However, David Naylor, a director of Express Hi-Fold Doors Limited, which designed and manufactured the door, was cleared of manslaughter by gross negligence.

As previously reported, Naylor was arrested in relation to the incident in 2014. He was then charged with two counts of manslaughter by gross negligence at the start of this year, with case going before Guildford Crown Court last month.

According to the Express & Star newspaper, during the trial Zoe Johnson QC, representing the prosecution, said that the type of door Naylor’s company manufactured was “unique” in the UK in that it had no “anti-drop safeguard”. Citing earlier incidents where the same kind of door had collapsed elsewhere, and Naylor’s alleged “rather casual approach to safety”, Johnson argued that there was a case for a manslaughter conviction.

She told the court: “The prosecution alleges that the failure to have an anti-drop safeguard coupled with other evidence of earlier door collapses and this defendant’s rather casual approach to safety means that his conduct is so bad as to amount to the offence of gross negligence manslaughter”.

However, while his company was found guilty of a health and safety breach last week, Naylor was cleared of the manslaughter charges. According to the BBC, the judge overseeing the case said that there was no “deliberate disregard for the law” but that the company “fell far short of the appropriate health and safety standard”. It’s unclear whether Express Hi-Fold Doors Limited will be able to pay the fine, given that the court was told it “barely traded in 2015 and was essentially liquidated”.