Brian Timmins jailed for more than seven years after Wolverhampton employee killed in industrial shredder

Waste recycling company boss Brian Timmins has been jailed for the gross negligence manslaughter of David Willis at his Wolverhampton plant
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A company boss has been jailed for seven-and-a-half years after a worker was killed when he fell into an industrial shredder.

David Willis, 29, tumbled into a shredder designed for wood and commercial waste at Timmins Waste Services (TWS), in Wolverhampton. CCTV from the gruesome tragedy shows Mr Willis being hoisted up to the machine on a JCB digger’s grapple arm.

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His boss, yard manager Brian Timmins, was in the cab of the digger and had told Mr Willis to clear a blockage in the shredder while it was running. Mr Willis knelt on the edge of the machine but as he reached down he fell inside and was killed instantly by the huge meshing blades.

Footage shows Timmins climb up to the top of the hopper and peer inside before walking away from the scene and pulling out his mobile phone. He then called Mr Willis’ number before climbing back inside the digger and continued working - meaning the labourer's remains were buried in shredded waste.

When Willis failed to return home that night, his mother reported him missing to the police on September 15, 2018. The next day, Timmins asked workers to take 80 tonnes of waste to a landfill site in Cannock - unaware that they were also transporting the remains of their co-worker.

Tragically, police believe Mr Willis’ remains will never be found. Timmins, 54, of Albrighton in Wolverhampton, was found guilty of manslaughter and the company guilty of corporate manslaughter. Timmins and TWS have previously admitted health and safety charges.

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Yesterday (December 16) he was jailed at Wolverhampton Crown Court.

TWS yard boss Brian TimminsTWS yard boss Brian Timmins
TWS yard boss Brian Timmins

Detective Inspector Jim Colclough, of West Midlands Police, said: “We found major, systemic failings across TWS which meant workers were put at risk.

“Risk assessments were not done, and safe methods of working were simply not put in place. Timmins’ failure to lock off the shredder, and his decision to put Mr Willis in a position of danger, directly caused this tragedy.

“We spent many weeks searching the site at Cannock, but only found part of a tabard which may have belonged to David. The fact that we could not recover David has added to the anguish caused to his family, and denied them the chance to say goodbye to him with dignity.”

David Willis, 29, tumbled into a shredder designed for wood and commercial waste at Timmins Waste Services (TWS), in Wolverhampton.David Willis, 29, tumbled into a shredder designed for wood and commercial waste at Timmins Waste Services (TWS), in Wolverhampton.
David Willis, 29, tumbled into a shredder designed for wood and commercial waste at Timmins Waste Services (TWS), in Wolverhampton.
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Mr Willis’ family said in a statement: “David’s death is as painful for us now as it was five years ago.

"David has missed out on so many treasured family moments, including the birth of his niece and the growing up of his nephew, who still treats David as his superhero in the sky.”

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