Norwich fitter on trial after gate crushes woman to death

Robert Churchyard, 51, denies gross negligence manslaughter following the ‘wholly preventable’ death of Jill Lunn, 56, in Blofield Heath

An iron gate crushed a woman to death in a “wholly preventable tragedy”, Norwich crown court heard.

After Jill Lunn, 56, had driven home with her granddaughter Ava, she went to close the gate by hand after the automatic mechanism failed, the court heard. The gate, at the entrance to her driveway in Blofield Heath, near Norwich, which weighed about a third of a tonne, fell on her, Andrew Jackson, prosecuting, said. It was designed to be operated manually as well, but a fitter had failed to install any safety stops and the track was longer than the gate, meaning the gate was able to detach and fall, he added.

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