Ex High Sheriff fined in court after employee was severely injured

The former High Sheriff of Cornwall and owner of a 1,500-acre estate has been fined for a health and safety breach after an employee suffered severe injuries in an incident on his land.

Paul Young-Jamieson, of Carnanton Estate near St Mawgan, Newquay, appeared at Bodmin Magistrates’ Court on Friday (September 25).

Young-Jamieson, 63, pleaded guilty to contravening a health and safety regulation after failing to ensure that employees of his had received adequate training to use a telehandler, and was subsequently sentenced by District Judge Joanna Matson.

Young-Jamieson succeeded to the Carnanton Estate in 1995 and was appointed High Sheriff of Cornwall for 2018/19. He regularly operates organised game bird shoots on his estate.

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The court heard how two of Young-Jamieson’s employees were using a telehandler when the incident happened on the grounds of the estate during a shoot on May 30, 2018.

One of the under-keepers, 18-year-old Todd Jago, was thrown 15 to 20 feet into the air by his supervisor, Lee Nobbs, who was operating the machinery. The court heard Mr Jago was standing on the telehandler forks when he was thrown into the air, with the safety cage not attached.

Mr Jago suffered serious injuries from the fall, including multiple fractures to his pelvis which required reconstructive surgery.

He was hospitalised for three weeks and required a further seven months of rehabilitation at home before being able to return to work.

Gates to Carnanton House
(Image: Anthony Parkes / licensed for reuse under Creative Commons Licence)

In his victim personal statement, Mr Jago described the huge impact the incident has had on his life.

The court heard that the injuries and subsequent surgeries left Mr Jago in excruciating pain and bedridden for a substantial period of time.

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Mr Jago remained employed by Young-Jamieson on full pay until February 2019, when he decided to resign.

The prosecution argued that the level of culpability and the risk of harm on Young-Jamieson’s part was medium.

Young-Jamieson said the small number of employees who operate the telehandler had received basic training from him, but the prosecution argued that this was not enough, and that the training given was insufficient.

District Judge Matson agreed with the prosecution that there was a medium level of culpability, due to the inadequate level of training delivered.

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However she sided with the defence on the level of risk posed, which she deemed to be low due to the small number of people who had access to the telehandler at the time.

Young-Jamieson’s defence counsel told the court that he would almost always be present to guide and supervise Mr Nobbs while he was using the telehandler, however on the day in question, he was dealing with administrative tasks arising from the recent death of his mother.

In December 2018, Young-Jamieson ensured all of his employees had received the correct training.

District Judge Matson acknowledged that Young-Jamieson had “held his hands up” over the health and safety breach.

She fined Young-Jamieson £1,800 for the offence, and ordered him to pay a further £3,000 towards court costs.

Cornwall Live