Pub where boy, 7, was fatally electrocuted 'had extension leads plugged into extension leads'

Will Taylor
·News Reporter
·3-min read
Harvey Tyrrell died after sitting on a pub garden light and prosecutors blame Colin Naylor. (PA/SWNS/Metropolitan Police)
Harvey Tyrrell died after sitting on a pub garden light, and prosecutors blame Colin Naylor. (PA/SWNS/Metropolitan Police)

Electrics at a pub where a seven-year-old died after being shocked by a garden light consisted of “extension leads plugged into extension leads”, a court has heard.

Harvey Tyrrell was playing with a friend when he sat on the light and suffered an electric shock on 11 September, 2018, Snaresbrook Crown Court has heard.

He collapsed when he touched a metal railing at the King Harold pub in Romford, east London, causing electricity to flow through his body, a prosecutor said.

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Electrician Colin Naylor, 74, is accused of manslaughter by gross negligence, which he denies.

Jurors have been told the lights had “significant defects”, including inadequate protection from water infiltration.

Undated family handout file photo issued by the Metropolitan Police of seven-year-old Harvey Tyrrell who died from electrocution at the King Harold pub in Station Road, Harold Wood, Romford, Essex in September 2018. Colin Naylor is accused of causing the electrocution of the seven-year-old boy. Issue date: Wednesday January 20, 2021.
Harvey Tyrrell died after sitting on a garden light and touching a metal railing, jurors have been told. (PA/Metropolitan Police)

An inspection after Tyrrell’s death found the pub was “very dangerous”, identifying 12 defects that presented a risk of injury and 32 potentially dangerous defects.

Owner David Bearman, Naylor’s brother-in-law, was warned about defects in 2009 and a follow-up found they were not rectified, the court heard. He previously pleaded guilty to Tyrrell’s manslaughter.

On Monday, jurors heard one of the pub’s managers, Kirsty Beard, describe the electrics as “extension leads plugged into extension leads”.

“Behind the bar there was an area where you could just pull it out and there were loads of extension leads,” she said.

“If anything, I thought there might be more of a chance of a fire.”

Beard said Bearman was responsible for the electrics and when an extension lead melted, he “just got us a new extension lead”.

Colin Naylor arrives at Snaresbrook Crown Court in London accused of causing the electrocution of seven-year-old Harvey Tyrrell who died at the King Harold Pub in Harold Wood, Romford, Essex, on September 11, 2018. Picture date: Wednesday January 20, 2021.
Colin Naylor denies manslaughter. (PA)

She added that the lights had been installed by Bearman, who she said did the majority of electrical work, and Naylor before the 2018 World Cup and did not have a light switch.

They needed to be turned on by a fuse, and Beard said that after two garden lights were knocked over in August 2018 they “sparked... the fuse sparked and it wouldn’t turn on”.

Bearman began repairing them on 28 August, two weeks before Tyrrell’s death, after being told and reminded to fix them, Beard said.

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The manager said she saw Bearman turning off the fuses after Tyrrell was electrocuted.

Beard’s partner and co-manager told jurors Bearman had drilled through a cable while repairing the lights.

The court heard a statement from a pub regular, Gary Robinson, who said there had been “banter” about the electrics regularly tripping, which could occur weekly or fortnightly.

Bearman was “blown across the cellar” after touching a fusebox in 2018, causing an arm injury, while staff reported that fuse boxes appeared to be overloaded, prosecutor Duncan Penny QC said.

The King Harold pub in Romford. (SWNS)
The King Harold pub in Romford. (SWNS)

He told jurors that Naylor, of Rayleigh, Essex, had a duty to check the safety of the electrics and claimed the defendant knew about their “unsatisfactory state”.

Naylor, an electrician of 50 years, said the state of one of the distribution boxes had caused him to “raise his eyebrows” but insisted his installation was “first class” and that suggestions of water ingress was “b*******”, the court heard.

He also denies one charge of failing to discharge a duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act by failing to take reasonable care to limit the risk or prevent the danger of serious injury or death.

The trial continues.

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