The director of a manufacturer that made a two-tonne steel door that killed a band’s singer and its promoter has been cleared of gross negligence manslaughter in a jury trial at Guildford Crown Court.
However, David Naylor’s company, Express Hi-Fold Doors, was fined £30,000 after they were found guilty of breaching Section 6 of the Health and Safety at Work Act, which covers the manufacture of articles and substances used at work.
Trevor Grills, a vocalist in the Fisherman’s Friends sea shanty group and band promoter Paul McMullen were killed at Guildford’s G Live venue in 2013.
The door that separates the backstage area from the rear of the venue, was designed and manufactured by the company.
Grills, 54, from Port Isaac, Cornwall, and McMullen, from Disley in Cheshire, were at the venue ahead of a performance by the 10 piece group.
The door which was hinged horizontally was raised to allow the band’s van to unload the equipment. It was folded in half and was raised ‘like a canopy’ above the men when it collapsed.
The court heard that there was no appropriate anti-drop safeguard and that two drive chains linking the motor and gearbox to the drive shaft had failed, and the chains themselves also failed.