Pub landlord jailed over death of boy, 7, killed by badly-installed lights

A pub owner has been jailed for nine years after a seven-year-old boy was electrocuted while playing in a beer garden.

Harvey Tyrrell was electrocuted after he came into contact with incorrectly installed outdoor lights at the King Harold pub in Romford, east London, on the afternoon of September 11 2018.

As Judge Martyn Zeidman QC jailed David Bearman he described the lighting system in the beer garden of King Harold in Romford, east London, as a "timebomb waiting to go off".

Bearman, 73, was sentenced to nine years by Snaresbrook Crown Court today, Thursday, April 15, after previously pleading guilty to gross negligence manslaughter.

The electrician said to have installed the lighting, Bearman's 74-year-old brother-in-law Colin Naylor, was jailed for a year after he was found guilty of failing to discharge a duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act following a trial.

"I have no doubt that both of you were aware of the danger and each of you, for your own slightly different reasons, chose to do nothing about it," the judge said.

"And now, of course, it all ends in tears. In a sentence, Harvey's death is a tragedy, and it is one that must never be allowed to be forgotten."

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He told Bearman: "You gambled with the lives of your customers, putting money over safety," adding: "I regard this as a bad case and one in which you put your love of money over the safety of your clientele.

"The evidence drives me to the conclusion that you adopted throughout a bombastic, arrogant and dangerous attitude."

"You were aware of the risk of death but chose to turn a blind eye to it," the judge told Naylor.

Bearman, a former electrician who suffered an electric shock in the pub's basement in May 2018, leased the business from Punch Taverns from 2006 before buying the freehold for £900,000 in 2010.

The court heard environmental health inspectors had identified "numerous electrical defects" in 2009.

But the obligation to engage a "competent person" to fix the problems was "never fulfilled by Mr Bearman up and until the day of Harvey's death," said prosecutor Duncan Penny QC.

Harvey had been taken to the pub by his mother to join his father and maternal grandfather and was playing in the garden with a friend when he was electrocuted.

The boy’s father Lewis Tyrrell said in a statement he was "incredibly proud" to have been a father to Harvey, who he called "Harvey chops".

"The day Harvey died he woke up happy and beautiful. At the end of that day, he was dead," he said.

"Losing a child is one of the hardest things in the world but because it was so sudden we didn't get time to say final words, to say goodbye or say we loved him.

"I feel like a part of me died when Harvey died, and I have never really been able to be happy since."

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