The Health and Safety Executive is still considering whether to prosecute a fencing contractor after an employee was killed in an accident.
The body of Aled Lloyd Jones was found with chainsaw wounds in a field in Llandyrnog in January 2015. An inquest in Ruthin heard the father-of-three from Tanrallt, near Denbigh, had been building a fence for a friend.
A post-mortem examination found Mr Lloyd Jones’ major arteries had been cut as a result of the injuries to his neck. The alarm had been raised when his wife, Nerys Mosford-Jones, became worried when he did not return her phone call.
Mr Jones’ body was found by the owner of the smallholding, Amanda Ashcroft-Dickinson. She told the hearing that he was asked to lop some high branches from a tree. His tractor was still running when he was found dead.
The contractor, Robert Francis from Rhewl, declined to answer several questions including his work relationship with Mr Jones, the use of his equipment and whether he had contacted him on the day of the accident. But he did say he owned a polesaw to cut overhead branches and protective equipment, which Mr Jones had not been using on the day. Mr Francis had since quit as a contractor
An HSE investigator, Damian Corbett, said it was possible that Mr Jones had slipped from a small platform on the front of the tractor, or that he was knocked off by a branch – but he said he could only speculate about what happened.
Coroner John Gittins told the court that Mr Francis was not obliged to answer questions which he felt could incriminate him because of the possibility of the HSE taking action.
A jury returned a verdict of accidental death.