Wolverhampton worker died ‘within seconds’ after falling into industrial shredder

A court has heard how a Tipton man was crushed within seconds, after falling into an industrial shredder at a Wolverhampton waste management site.

David Willis, 29, worked for Timmins Waste Services (TWS) when he fell into the diesel diesel-powered machine at the Mander Street site.

Brian Timmins, the yard manager who was operating the machine at the time, denied manslaughter and perverting the course of justice, whilst TWS denied corporate manslaughter at Worcester Crown Court.

Timmins from Albrighton, was reportedly operating the shredder when it stopped. According to prosecutor Christine Agnew KC, he approached the machine to investigate and then used a digger to lift Mr Willis on top of it.

CCTV evidence presented in court revealed Willis working inside the machine while waste material continued to be ejected.

When he disappeared inside the machine, Agnew described how Timmins was observed looking around the yard and inside the shredder before calling the labourer’s phone.

The following day, Timmins and other employees disposed of 80 tonnes of recycled waste at a landfill site in Cannock, Staffordshire, the court was told.

Ms Agnew mentioned that this load likely included Mr Willis’s remains.

Jurors learned that on the evening of September 15, Willis’s mother, Caroline, reported him missing when he did not return home to Tipton.

She called Timmins just before 23:00 to inquire if he had seen him and he responded that he hadn’t seen Willis since the morning when he left and walked up the road.

When the police visited the yard on September 17, their review of CCTV footage led to a landfill search where a part of a tabard, possibly belonging to Mr Willis, was found.

The trial, in front of Mr Justice Jacobs, is scheduled to last four weeks.

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