Cheshire East Council face prosecution for "senseless and utterly avoidable death" of Wilmslow dad

Cheshire East Council is being prosecuted for health and safety breaches after a dad was tragically killed by a falling tree in The Carrs.

Chris Hall, 48, was struck by a 22m mature lime tree whilst walking his dog Benson on the the main public path in The Carrs Park at lunchtime on August 28th 2020, along the same route they had used for the last 11 years.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has charged both the Council and ANSA Environmental Services, a wholly owned company of Cheshire East Council.

Cheshire East Council is accused of breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, contrary to Section 33(1)(a) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

ANSA Environmental Services Limited is accused of breaching Section 2(1) and Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, both contrary to Section 33(1)(a) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

His wife Fiona, 55, said "The prosecution of CEC & ANSA is one step closer to justice for the senseless and utterly avoidable death of my husband and Sam's dad Chris aged 48.

"Sam, I and our families and friends are totally devastated by his loss and so grateful for HSE's decision to prosecute based on systemic gross failings within CEC and ANSA.

"The massive 22 tonne tree that killed Chris on the main public path in the Carrs was decayed throughout the main trunk and was known about a full year before but not actioned and on 28th August 2020 at lunchtime Chris was simply waking our dog on a fine summers days and was robbed of his life.

"Sam and I cannot commend HSE highly enough for bringing those responsible to account."

A Cheshire East Council spokesperson said: "The council has been notified by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) that HSE prosecutions are being brought against Cheshire East Council and its wholly-owned company, Ansa Environmental Services Ltd. This follows an investigation into an incident at the Carrs, Wilmslow on 28 August 2020 which resulted in the tragic death of Mr Christopher Hall.

"As the legal process continues, our thoughts and deepest sympathies remain with Mr Hall's family. As this matter is subject to legal proceedings, it would not be appropriate to comment further at this time."

Speaking about the forthcoming inquest Fiona said "The inquest has been delayed numerous times due to the ongoing and in depth investigations. It will be held at HM Coroners Court, Museum Street Warrington. There will be a Pre-Inquest Hearing currently set for first week in December and then full inquest, however these are provisional as we still await a court date for the prosecution of CEC/ANSA."