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THe engineer's report, 22 Jan 2014, which shows that Lee Balkwell did not die through an accident caused by negligence

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THe engineer's report, 22 Jan 2014, which shows that Lee Balkwell did not die through an accident caused by negligence

Post by Tony Bennett on Thu 23 Jan 2014 - 8:39

 John Bond is an accredited expert who frequently gives evidence in the British courts and is known internationally for his expertise.

In an urgent report delievered to Basildon Magistrates Court yesterday, he patiently explains why Lee's death was no accident caused by negligence, as the prosecution claim. His death must have been caused otherwise:

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

J Bond & Partners  
SAFETY AND ENGINEERING CONSULTANTS        
18 High Street, Bassingbourn
Royston,
Herts.  SG8 5NE                                                             

Tel/Fax:  [withheld]
Email: [withheld]
 

From Mr John Bond

22 January 2014

Dear Sirs.

re: CPS -v- SIMON BROMLEY, 28 January 2014, Basildon Magistrate Court:  TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN

As the result of an article in the Mail on Sunday dated 22 December, that I saw on my return from a holiday in France, I considered that I should write to appropriate persons to register my concern at the report that Mr Simon Bromley has been charged with negligence.

My concern results from two inspections of the lorry at which Mr Lee Balkwell is said to have suffered fatal injury/ies.  As the result of my first inspection of the lorry I prepared a report dated 24 September 2009 giving my opinion and conclusions about the matter.   At the time of my inspection I was denied access to the interior of the drum on the grounds that it was unsafe.  I was eventually permitted to inspect the interior of the drum on 30 March 2011 and I prepared my report giving my opinion about the inspection in my report dated 03 January 2012.   I was instructed later in the year by Detective Chief Superintendent Catling to give my views on a report prepared by a Mr Price.    Following my study of Mr Price's report I prepared a further report giving my opinion and conclusions about the report and also re-affirming my opinion that the control rod did not fail due to vibration or any other operational stresses.

There appears to have been fundamental anomalies from the results of my inspections, my calculations and tests with the statements made by Mr Simon Bromley.   Some of these are:

1          Mr Bromley says that removing of the hardening concrete inside the drum, “gunning out”, was carried out jointly by him and Mr Balkwell.   To carry this out they took it in turns to exit from a hatch at the base of the drum, start the lorry engine, then go to the rear of the lorry to operate the drum rotational control to “inch” the drum round, that is to rotate it in small increments, so as to expose a further area of hardening concrete to be removed.  When a sufficient area of hardening concrete on the drum's interior surface had been positioned, the person inside the drum would tell the other person to stop the drum.  That person would actuate the lever at the rear of the drum to stop the drum, go to the drivers’ cab at the front of the lorry, stop the engine and return to the inside of the drum and carry on with the “gunning out”.

The anomaly in this is that on the previous occasion, when it would have been Mr Balkwell who had climbed out of the drum, he would have entered the lorry cab, started the engine, walked to the rear of the lorry, operated the drum rotational control lever until told to stop by Mr Bromley who would have been inside the drum.   Mr Balkwell would then have returned to the driver's cab and stopped the engine prior to returning to the inside of the drum where he and Mr Simon Bromley, who had remained in the drum, carried on with the gunning out.

There has been no explanation to account for Mr Bromley’s statement that when he went out of the drum immediately following the work in the static drum, described in the previous paragraph, carried out jointly with Mr Balkwell, ostensibly to inch the drum round, he started the lorry engine and the drum “started to rotate quite quickly”  Logically, even if the drum control rod had failed, by some miraculous means immediately after Mr Balkwell had stopped the drum rotation using the control lever, which in my opinion it did not, the drum must have stopped - otherwise he would not have been able to re-enter the drum to join Mr Simon Bromley. It is therefore necessary for a credible explanation to be given to account for the scenario given by Mr Bromley.  It is my opinion that the control rod, connected to the drum speed control lever at the rear of the lorry, was fully operational until some time after the alleged incident at 1.03am when it is claimed that Mr Balkwell suffered fatal injury/ies.

2          Following my first inspection of the drum I calculated the probable time available to Mr Balkwell for him to gain egress from the drum.  Had he decided to leave the drum and follow Mr Simon Bromley out of the drum it is highly probable that there would have been some verbal exchange between the two men.  Had he decided to leave the drum some seconds after Mr Bromley had left the drum, again, there would have been some verbal interchange, so, in both scenarios, the most probable result would have been that Mr Balkwell would have been completely outside of the drum before Mr Bromley had started the lorry engine.  

From my subsequent inspection, when I was allowed to enter and leave the interior of the drum, it is my opinion that Mr Balkwell would not have been able to remain completely stable inside the drum when it started to rotate.  He would have been hard pressed to remain upright, due to the drum rotation, not giving a thought to climbing out of one of the access hatches diametrically opposite each other.    

3          On the assumption that Mr Balkwell was found fatally injured after the drum had been stopped it is my opinion that the drum would have rotated well in excess of one revolution before Mr Simon Bromley would have been able to stop the lorry engine, as he says in his statements, by stalling it.   In this case there would have been evidence of an unbroken deposit of blood and body tissue round the whole periphery of the drum.

It is my further opinion that it is highly improbable that the alleged incident as claimed by Mr Simon Bromley took place at all.

I attach herewith a copy of my CV for your information and I would be pleased to provide copies of my reports if you so desire

Yours faithfully,

J F Bond

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                            "Maddie's Jammies. Where is Maddie?" - Amelie, May 2007 -  "Maddie's Jammies. Where is Maddie?"


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Re: THe engineer's report, 22 Jan 2014, which shows that Lee Balkwell did not die through an accident caused by negligence

Post by PeterMac on Thu 23 Jan 2014 - 10:50

Fascinating read.
It look as though they gave far too much information and too many details at the start.
Where else have we seen that ?


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Re: THe engineer's report, 22 Jan 2014, which shows that Lee Balkwell did not die through an accident caused by negligence

Post by Tony Bennett on Thu 23 Jan 2014 - 10:58

@PeterMac wrote:Fascinating read.
It look as though they gave far too much information and too many details at the start.
Where else have we seen that ?

EXTRACT OF A LETTER SENT TODAY TO THE CHIEF CROWN PROSECTOR FOR THE EAST OF ENGLAND GRACE ONONIWU,THIS MORNING:


Dear Ms Ononiwu

Mr Balkwell is severely disappointed that you have not yet given a date to meet with him. He needs to see you before the Crown Prosecution Service proceeds with a prosecution which has no basis in evidence.

He is able to meet you today or tomorrow or on Monday. Please give him, via myself, a time and venue.

The report by John Bond sent to you yesterday contained a mis-wording of the penultimate paragraph. It should have read:


It is my further opinion that it is highly improbable that the alleged incident as claimed by Mr Simon Bromley took place at all.



In the light of that clear statement, and the rest of his report, and all the other information you now have, and bearing in mind the fact that the prosecution must prove its case that there was an incident such as Simon Bromley claims, how can you as the Head of East of England Crown Prosecuton Serivce possibly allow this prosecution to proceed?

Is it not abundantly clear that - just as the IPCC described the initial Essex Police investiagtion as 'seriously flawed' - your prosecution is equally 'seriously flawed'? You are the person legally responsible for authorising this prosecution which we say is founded on the obvious fabrications by Simon Bromley about what is supposed to have happened.

Finally, please could we have the replies to our questions sent to you on 15 December as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely,

Anthony Bennett

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Re: THe engineer's report, 22 Jan 2014, which shows that Lee Balkwell did not die through an accident caused by negligence

Post by Tony Bennett on Thu 23 Jan 2014 - 11:13

@PeterMac wrote:It look as though they gave far too much information and too many details at the start. 

I am sure you are right.

For information, here is a brief analysis I did (nearly 7 years ago now!) of the 'first report', given by Simon Bromley and his father in a call to the Ambualnce Service, made at 1.03am on 18 July 2002. Unfortunately, I can't reproduce the actual transcript here:

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


The official transcript of the 999 call on 18 July 2002 runs to 9 pages and appears to have lasted just under 7 minutes, though the exact time of the termination of the call is not given.

It’s time now to analyse this call.

The first point to note is that David Bromley’s first words, though we cannot deduce it from his actual voice, appear to be flippant. He begins: ‘Yes, good afternoon, morning, evening…’

At the bottom of page 1 of the transcript, we learn how David Bromley claimed he first learnt of the accident and Lee’s death: “…I don’t know what’s happened, I was sound asleep in bed and he come running over and woke me up”.

Immediately after that, Simon Bromley chips in: “He’d dead, Dad”. David Bromley replies: “All right, Simon, you can’t help it, mate”.

On the next page, Ambulance Control ask David Bromley: “What’s happened with the concrete mixer?”.

David Bromley gives this answer: “I don’t know, you’ll have to come down here, I’ll explain to you”.

Ambulance Control demands, quite probably impatiently: ‘Listen to me’.

David Bromley repeats that he has just been woken up: “Lee’s woken me up out of a sound sleep. I don’t know what’s happened. You’ll have to come down here as quick as you can”.

Now then, what is the significance of this statement: “Lee’s just woken me up out of a sound sleep”. Lee?? A minute ago it was Simon who had woken him up. Is this a ‘Freudian slip’? Why does he mention the name of the dead friend of his son as the person who has just ‘woken him up’?

Ambulance Control persists: ‘Listen to me, Sir’, whereupon David Bromley puts his son on the ’phone: “Hang on a second, look, [speaks to Simon] you have the ’phone, [to Ambulance Control] it’s my son here”.

And now - the time is just 1.05am - we have Simon Bromley’s first official explanation for what has happened:

“Yes, well, we was gunning the back of a ready mix lorry out, and we just, I’ve had to try and move it around a bit and he’s gone to out of the hole as I’ve started the lorry up, the handle had moved forward and he f___ing got caught under the lorry”.

Here, then, we have the essential elements of Simon Bromley’s story laid out:

1.      They were both ‘gunning out’ the lorry
2.      Simon says he ‘had to’ move the lorry around a bit to make the drum more accessible for the remaining ‘gunning out’
3.      Lee had gone to get out of the ‘hole’ (the inspection chamber) - presumably backwards, i.e. feet first, although Simon doesn’t say so at this point

4.      Simon had started the lorry up

5.      The handle [controlling the drum] ‘had moved’ (though he doesn’t say how), and

6.      Lee ‘got caught’ as the drum moved round - one presumes it must have been rotating clockwise to bring him into the position in which he came to rest.

Simon would have to elaborate on this account in the days, weeks and months to come, to the police and to health and safety officials investigating the death.

Ambulance Control asks some more questions, and Simon sticks to his account:

“He’s in the back of a concrete mixer…he’s hanging out of the back of it. It’s on the - you know - they’ve like got doors on the front of them, haven’t they? Well, he was getting out of one of them and it just went round on him…he’s sort of hanging, sort of wedged between the motor and the vehicle…he’s stuck in between the lorry. He’s dead. He’s definitely not breathing because he’s dead. He’s actually, he’s half hanging out the motor and as the motor’s gone round it’s got him caught…he was getting out the back of a ready-mix lorry, and then, erm, well...we was, I was just about to start it, to move it round a little so we could…’cos we were gunning the back of it out like, you know. And obviously, as I’ve started the motor up, the, erm, lever at the back must have moved forwards a bit or something and he was just getting out and in - just - the motor went round on him…he’s trapped between the lorry and the body of it, we’ve left him caught in the machine…the machinery’s all switched off, just left there”.

Ambulance Control ask Simon if he can talk to Lee:

Simon: “No, no, he’s dead, he was just lying there lifeless, mate, the lorry just went round…the way it’s happened, it’s just, woof! - he’s dead. You can probably get to him. He’s wedged at the moment”.

Ambulance Control keep Simon talking, giving them directions to the farm, until around 1.10am, when they terminated the call.

Now the CCTV video helps us to see what happens next. For at 1.14am and 8 seconds on the CCTV - the ‘true’ time would be 1.10am, adjusting the times to the Ambulance Service times, the video captures 8 seconds of Simon walking purposefully from his father’s house to his own. He is wearing the same white shirt, blue shorts, blue socks and white trainers that we can see on the video earlier that evening. The timings suggest, therefore, that the very moment he put down the ’phone in his father’s house, he went off and walked to his own house. In his left hand, he is seen carrying a white object, quite possibly a white T-shirt. Was it Lee’s? After all, he was also wearing a white T-shirt that night.

Just 24 seconds after Simon enters his bungalow, David Bromley emerges from his bungalow and walks towards his son’s bungalow and back - this taking just a further 26 seconds on the video.

It is noteworthy that both men - David and Simon Bromley, appear to be walking purposefully and exhibiting no obvious signs of distress or panic.

Then we see a strange sight on the video just over a minute later. At 1.16am and 9 seconds on the CCTV (‘true time’ 1.12am) we see Simon walking back up the lane towards his bungalow. He must therefore have jumped over a wall or fence in his garden and have decided to walk back via the lane. This time, though, he is without the white object.

Did he go back to his house and garden to dispose of it? Lee’s T-shirt was never found.

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Re: THe engineer's report, 22 Jan 2014, which shows that Lee Balkwell did not die through an accident caused by negligence

Post by PeterMac on Thu 23 Jan 2014 - 17:16

No one, except in novels, says they were woken out of "sound sleep".
Sound sleep is not something you experience yourself.
You are not aware of being asleep - by definition.
Sound sleep is a label applied by the person trying to wake you

And who, presented with this scenario, would not try to remove the body / injured person and keep at it until the ambulance arrived.
Experience tells me that people with no skills often make things worse by their efforts, but they can never be criticised for trying.
Merely to say "He's dead" and then to leave the body in situ, neatly presented for the Corner is very suspicious.

". . .he’s trapped between the lorry and the body of it, we’ve left him caught in the machine … the machinery’s all switched off, just left there”.
is not normal.

Screaming "we can't get him out, and he's not moving. There's blood everywhere, Please help us . . ." is surely much more likely and much more believeable.

Hobs may be interested in this transcript.

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Re: THe engineer's report, 22 Jan 2014, which shows that Lee Balkwell did not die through an accident caused by negligence

Post by aiyoyo on Fri 24 Jan 2014 - 0:00

mmediately after that, Simon Bromley chips in: “He’d dead, Dad”. David Bromley replies: “All right, Simon, you can’t help it, mate”.

What intrigues me is -
Who, when woken up in middle of the night and told of a fatal accident on his doorstep involving his worker would not rush out to accident scene to find out for himself what happened or more importantly to see how he can help to rescue the worker.
Instead Bromley sr blindly accepted Bromley jr account that the worker is dead before verifying it by himself.  



Just 24 seconds after Simon enters his bungalow, David Bromley emerges from his bungalow and walks towards his son’s bungalow and back - this taking just a further 26 seconds on the video.

This is alarm bell moment.  
After being presented with the horrific accident, instead of rushing to accident scene, he rushed over to his son's bungalow.
It just does not sit right.  What could he be wanting from his son that's so urgent that he cannot wait till he'd attended to a more pressing matter of attending to his worker first? How did he already know it would be futile to do anything at that stage?

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