A CIDER company has been fined more than £1million after a grandfather was crushed to death by a security barrier on his 65th birthday.

Tommy Manns, from Dymock, Gloucestershire, was driving out of H Weston and Sons Limited's site at Bounds Farm in Ledbury when a security barrier speared through the windshield of his van and killed him on September 28 in 2020. 

The tragedy happened hours after two of his grandchildren had called to wish the farm manager a happy birthday. 

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Tommy Manns with his wife RoseTommy Manns with his wife Rose (Image: Health and Safety Executive)

A investigation into the incident by the Health and Safety Executive found that H Weston and Sons - the manufacturer of Henry Westons Cider - had failed to undertake a suitable and sufficient risk assessment of the barrier which had been installed a month earlier.

It also found that the company had failed to implement a safe system of work to ensure the barrier could be secured safely when open and closed. 

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: The barrier which speared the van driven by the grandfather The barrier which speared the van driven by the grandfather (Image: Health and Safety Executive)


Mr Manns' wife Rose said: “I am still in shock following the death of my husband. 

"I’ve never been an emotional person, but since the accident I am nervous and reliving the accident all the time.

"In the beginning I couldn’t even drive because my husband was driving at the time of his accident and I couldn’t face driving again for a long time. 

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Tommy and Rose Tommy and Rose (Image: Health and Safety Executive)

“Tommy loved his grandchildren so much and spoke to the two grandkids who were four and six on the day of his death.

"They rang to sing happy birthday to him in the morning. 

"He never got the chance to open his birthday cards. 

“Tommy has left a great legacy. He was so loved, he was my rock, my soulmate.”

A representative for H Weston and Sons Limited pleaded guilty to breaching the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

The company was fined £1.4 million and ordered to pay £26,756 in costs at Kidderminster Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, November 30.