Shropshire Star

Heartbroken mother of worker killed in shredder recalls 'mother's instinct' on day of tragedy

"Mother's instinct" meant David Willis mother knew something tragic had happened to her son when he did not return home from work.

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Caroline Willis' "nightmare" was only just beginning as it has taken five and half years for her to see justice and David's boss Brian Timmins, who lifted the 29-year-old onto the industrial shredder which killed him, jailed for seven and a half years.

She will always know her only son's coffin is empty due to his remains never been found after vital days were wasted searching for his body due Timmins' claims of seeing his employee go home.

The heartbroken mother told Wolverhampton Crown Court today how she drove the route from his work to home for hours when he failed to return home that night.

She had spoken to her son's boss Brian Timmins, who was sentenced to seven and a half years for manslaughter, told her David had gone home when in fact he had fallen in an industrial shredding machine.

Her "mother's instinct" made her fear the worse but she continued to look for her beloved son until the police informed her he had died several days later.

She said: "No child should die before their parent. It's not natural. I felt more pain than I thought imaginable. David was like my right arm, we did so much together."

The pair had a very close relationship with David accompanying his mum to her care jobs so she would feel safe at night. They would spend hours together watching television, along with his dog Tyson.

David Willis and his beloved dog Tyson

She said: "David would watch programmes which I would call 'a load of rubbish', but I would watch them with him, just for his company. He was really funny.

"Now, he has gone I find myself watching the same programmes to be close to him, and his dog Tyson has been a great help, I feel a part of David is still here with Tyson.

"There were times I did not want to get up to face the unimaginable pain of another day without my son, but knowing I had to care for Tyson meant I had to get up.

"My life will never be the same again. He used to come with me to work at night and stay in the car outside which made me feel safe. I can not do this anymore as I do not feel safe."

Dave's sister Emily told the court how her was the perfect brother and had forged a close bond with his nephew.

She said: "Dave would Facetime me during his break during work to speak to me and Lewis. When he was born he did not leave the hospital for 17 hours until he knew we were fine.

The 29-year-old from Tipton only agreed to work that fateful Saturday as a favour to the company who employed him as a labourer. Today, Timmins Waste Services were find £400,000 for corporate manslaughter.

David died after falling into an industrial shredding machine which yard manager Brian Timmins had lifted him on top of it by forklift truck after asking for help to fix it. David was dead within seconds, his body shredded and then automatically packaged to be sent to landfill.

Brian Timmins has been jailed for more than seven years

Despite extensive searches no remains of David's body was ever found.

Caroline said: "We had to bury an empty coffin."