Gainsborough farmers fined after Morton builder left paralysed

Southorpe Farm, Blyton G121003-1
Southorpe Farm, Blyton G121003-1

A GAINSBOROUGH farming business has been fined after a Morton building contractor was left paralysed for life when he fell through a barn roof.

The Standard were in court today (Wednesday 3rd October) to hear about how Paul Blanchard was contracted by Loates Bros Ltd to replace damaged roof panels and skylights on barns at Northorpe Grange and Southorpe Farm in Blyton.

On 18th July 2010, he fell more than four metres through a fragile skylight at Southorpe Farm shortly after climbing onto the barn roof.

Mr Blanchard, 56, from Morton, broke his back, 18 ribs and suffered severe head injuries and a punctured lung.

He was in an induced coma for 10 weeks and in hospital for six months.

He now needs a wheelchair after being left paralysed from the chest down.

“I feel frustrated that I can’t work any more, do all the manly jobs around the house, or play squash like I used to, but I realise I’m lucky to be here,” he said.

“The way I see it, the glass is half full.”

Loates Bros Ltd pleaded guilty to two breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act and were fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £14,995.

- For the FULL story from court and our interview with Mr Blanchard see next week’s Gainsborough Standard (available Thursday 11th October)