Lorry driver denies manslaughter after Ipswich docks pontoon death

PUBLISHED: 14:15 17 November 2012

A LORRY driver from Essex has pleaded not guilty to a charge of manslaughter following the death of a man at Ipswich docks last December.

Paul Napier, 48, of Inglenook, Clacton-on-Sea denied the manslaughter of Neville Wightman on December 16 last year when he appeared at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday (Friday).

He also pleaded not guilty to a charge of failing to discharge a duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act on the same date.

Mr Wightman was crushed to death while a pontoon was being unloaded at Ipswich docks. Mr Wightman, of Ipswich, died after the section of pontoon fell off a lorry at Cliff Quay last year.

The incident happened at about 18:00 GMT on Friday, 16 December on the quayside near the former Tolly Cobbold brewery.

Another man, Stephen Burden from Lowestoft, was treated for serious, but not life-threatening injuries.

Napier was released on bail and a provisional date of April 8 was set for his trial, which is expected to last seven or eight days.

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