Manslaughter charge for recycling firm after paper shredder death
The managing director of a Norfolk recycling company has been found guilty of manslaughter after an employee died in a horrific accident.
Paul White, 43, managing director of Ketteringham-based MW White Ltd, which prides itself in being Norfolk’s Largest Paperbank Operator on its website, pleaded guilty as charged when he appeared at Norwich Crown Court on Monday, June 13.
The charge followed the death of Kevin Arnup, a foreman at the firm, in December 2003 as an industrial paper shredder, or hogger, restarted as he tried to clear a blockage.
The court heard how Mr White was aware of the risks associated with the shredder and referred to it himself as ‘that bloody dangerous hogger’.
There was no switch to turn the machine off, but it could be paused and it was said to be common practice at the factory for workers to climb onto the machine then race against time to clear blockages before it started up again.
White was well aware of this practice, said prosecutor William Coker, and there was no reason beyond the economic to allow staff to work on problems with the machinery without shutting it down completely.
White was released on unconditional bail pending sentencing.
A date for the sentencing hearing has yet to be set by the court.
Manslaughter typically carries a custodial sentence of two to ten years.
By Sam Bond