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Fall-death jurors fail to reach verdict.

JURORS in the trial of a company boss accused of causing the death of a teenage employee have been discharged after failing to reach a verdict.

Alfred Wood was accused of the manslaughter by gross negligence of Jamie Duddin, who fell to his death while working a farm barn.

Wood had already admitted health and safety breaches following the accident but jurors could not reach a verdict on the more serious charge of manslaughter after eight hours of deliberations.

Mr Duddin, 18, died after falling through a fragile roof of the barn while he carried out work on it.

Wood, 66, a director of Mr Duddin's employer, Scotts of Whittington, in Northumberland, was accused of manslaughter by gross negligence. Alfred Wood, of Cherry Cottage, and his son Christopher Wood, 41, also a director, of Tulip Villa, both Great Whittington, Northumberland, have admitted neglecting to ensure the safety of the company's workers while carrying out roof work.

Prosecutors have seven days to decide whether to pursue a re-trial on the manslaughter allegation.

Wood was further bailed in the meantime.

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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:May 10, 2012
Words:183
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