Court hears Lincoln village family were exposed to ‘deadly’ asbestos dust at rented house

Tenants in a Lincoln village, including a three-year-old girl, were exposed to ‘dangerous levels of deadly asbestos dust’ at their rented property, Lincoln Crown Court heard.

Fines totalling £85,000 have been handed to two companies and two individuals after multiple health and safety failures were found at the property in Scopwick, south of Lincoln.

A judge at Lincoln Crown Court fined the company which rented the property in Scopwick Blankney Estates Ltd, registered in Leicester, but with its main operations in Lincolnshire, £50,000 and ordered it to pay £20,000 in costs after it pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety Act 1974.

The court heard on October 21 it did not manage adequately what were clearly deteriorating asbestos materials, and did not ensure that work within the property to remove an asbestos-lagged tank was properly planned and carried out safely by competent contractors.

Plumbing company Michael Grace Ltd and Adam and John Thereby, who were directors of a family-owned demolition company ART Dismantling Co Ltd, were responsible for the work done when removing the tank from the house.

Adam Robert Thurlby, of Sandhill Road, Farndon, Newark, Nottinghamshire, and John Thurlby, of Malt Kiln Lane, Eagle Moor, Lincoln, were also prosecuted by HSE for breaching the Control of Asbestos Regulations (CAR) 2006.

They were each fined £12,500 and were each ordered to pay £7,500 costs for contravening five CAR Regulations while acting as directors of ART Dismantling.

Michael Grace Ltd, registered in London, but trading locally in Lincolnshire, pleaded guilty to three CAR offences and was fined £10,000 plus £5,000 in costs.

A Health and Safety Executive spokesperson added: “Asbestos can be found in any building built before the year 2000 and causes around 5,000 deaths every year.

HSE’s website has extensive information on asbestos and how to manage the risks associated with it.”