Shropshire farmer died after roof he was working on gave way, inquest told

A Shropshire farmer died after he fell through a cattle shed roof that he was repairing.

David Thomas was airlifted to hospital
David Thomas was airlifted to hospital

David Richard Thomas, aged 46, from Burlow Farm, Clun, had been working on the roof of the building in Knighton leased by the family agricultural business, Thomas Farms of Knighton.

A jury at the inquest into his death held at Shirehall, Shrewsbury, on Tuesday reached a conclusion of accidental death.

They were told by senior coroner for Shropshire, John Ellery, that Mr Thomas died from brain injuries at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham on November 13, 2022.

He had been airlifted to the hospital on November 12, the day of his fall.

In a statement to the inquest his father, Christopher Thomas, said his son had been hard working and had a great sense of humour.

On the afternoon of the fall they were both working in the cattle shed at Stow Farm, Knighton. He had been cleaning the cattle muck out of the cattle shed and spreading it on the fields while his son was on the roof replacing some perspex sheets that let light into the building.

He said they had been aware of the dangers of standing on degraded roofing and had placed the new sheets on top of the old before any attempt had been made to climb onto the roof.

While on the fields he thought he heard a shout and when he returned he found his son on the concrete floor of the shed, unconscious but breathing.

With no mobile signal he had to run to a house at the farm for help.

David Thomas was airlifted to hospital but died from his injuries the next day.

Investigations were made by police and the Health and Safety Executive, the inquest was told.

Detective Sergeant Laura Breeze in her statement said that her investigation concluded that Mr Thomas had made his own risk assessment and that in her view, while there had been a risk of injury there had been no obvious risk of death.

Mr Ellery said that the Health and Safety Executive investigation was still continuing.

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