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**NEW** Balkwell case judge says the matter is 'OF GREAT SUBSTANCE..DIFFICULTY..PUBLIC IMPORTANCE' - so orders a Category A 3-day trial >>> Today's (15 Oct 2015) BBC report on Les Balkwell's High Court victory

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**NEW** Balkwell case judge says the matter is 'OF GREAT SUBSTANCE..DIFFICULTY..PUBLIC IMPORTANCE' - so orders a Category A 3-day trial >>> Today's (15 Oct 2015) BBC report on Les Balkwell's High Court victory

Post by Tony Bennett on 15.10.15 19:17

I was with Les Balkwell in the High Court today. Here is the BBC's report on the case, complete with a new picture of him taken outside the court this morning.

The judge decided that there would be 3-day trial of this case next June or July, on the issue of 'quantum' only (Essex Police having now conceded liability).

The judge had to decide what 'category' of judge should hear the case.

Paragraph 29.2 in the notes to CPR 29 in the White Book provide that “When giving trial directions, the practice in the Queen’s Bench Division is to give the case a Listing Category. Category A applies to claims of great substance and/or difficulty and/or of public importance, which will be heard only by a High Court judge. Category B applies to claims of substance and/or difficulty, which will be heard by either a High Court judge or a Deputy High Court judge. Category C applies to other claims, which will generally be heard by a Deputy High Court judge.”

Master Eastman decided today that this was a CATEGORY A case, to be heard before a High Court judge.   

One more step on Les's 13-year-long-and-counting search for the truth about the killing of his son.

I need to add one detail to the BBC's story.

The report says: "He [Lee] had been cleaning out a cement mixer".

It is Les Balkwell's case that there is overwhelming evidence that Lee was working on cleaning out the concrete mixer only from 7.40pm to 9.20pm that night - and was deliberately killed.

It has always been the contention of the Bromley family and Essex Police that he was working from 7.40pm to 1.03am (the time his death was reported) - and died in a 'tragic accident'. We say that that story is a cunning fabrication.

    

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Lee Balkwell concrete mixer death: Essex Police admit failings


  • 2 hours ago


[PIC] Lee Balkwell died in July 2002, at an Essex farm, after suffering multiple injuries

A police force has admitted it failed to investigate properly the death of a man found crushed under the drum of a cement mixer 13 years ago.

Les Balkwell took out a High Court civil action against Essex Police over its investigation of his son's death.




His son Lee Balkwell, 33, was found trapped at a farm in South Ockendon in 2002.

Essex Police admitted breaching the civil rights of the Balkwell family by failing to investigate properly.

A police spokesman said: "We can confirm we've admitted liability, and won't be commenting further at this time."

Mr Balkwell has been told by the court he is entitled to compensation but will not know how much this will be until a new hearing next summer.

In 2012, an Independent Police Complaints Commission report found eight senior officers made 25 errors in a "seriously flawed" investigation. It found no evidence of corruption.

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority made a £12,000 award based on the IPCC report "after considering all the evidence".

Les Balkwell, pictured at the High Court, said he was frustrated it had taken 13 years for police to admit officially they had failed

Lee Balkwell was found dead in a lane at South Ockendon in July 2002. He had been cleaning out a cement mixer.

An inquest jury returned a verdict of unlawful killing through gross negligence.

His employer Simon Bromley, of Dennises Lane, South Ockendon, was convicted of breaching health and safety regulations but was cleared of manslaughter by gross negligence.

The Crown Prosecution Service said no date had been set for him to be sentenced over the death of Mr Balkwell.

He has so far been jailed only for cannabis offences.

Mr Balkwell has told the BBC he was very frustrated it had taken 13 years for police to admit officially they failed.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-essex-34541393

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