UPDATE: Southport landlord jailed for manslaughter after tragic fall

UPDATE: Southport landlord jailed for manslaughter after tragic fall
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Photo: Police outside a Roselea Drive address house, where the body of Steven Weedon (34) was discovered
landlord jailed for the death of a jobless former soldier

A Merseyside landlord who admitted being responsible for the death of a jobless ex-serviceman who had been doing work for him has been jailed for three years and four months.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that Steven Weedon, 33, fell to his death from dangerous scaffolding that had been put up around the home of Anthony Minehan.

Minehan, 63, lived in a large, three storey, Victorian detached house in Park Road West, Southport and had employed Mr Weedon to do some work on it, cash-in-hand.

Mr Weedon suffered from epilepsy and post-traumatic stress disorder following service in Iraq and shouldn’t have been working at height.

Coupled with this, the scaffolding was also dangerous and hadn’t been erected properly.

The court heard that a neighbour saw Mr Weedon fall from the scaffolding on 26 March 2014.  He was found by some of his workmates who wanted to call an ambulance.

But Minehan didn’t want to alert the emergency services, even though there was blood on the floor next to Mr Weedon’s body and it was clear he was seriously injured.

Mr Weedon was taken home but he was found dead the following morning.

Mr Weedon rented his home in Roselea Drive, Southport, from Minehan, along with two other jobless ex-servicemen.

They had been put in touch with Minehan via a charity called ‘Soldiers off the Streets’, which offered help to ex service personnel who were homeless.

In the days leading up to the tragedy, scaffolding was erected at Minehan’s home by Abacus Scaffolding North West Ltd for the purposes of installing cavity wall insulation.

When that was done, Minehan asked Mr Weedon and his two housemates to do some painting and other small jobs to the outside of the building, while the scaffolding was still up.

The men were receiving state benefits and Minehan offered to pay them £30, “cash-in-hand” for the work. One of the men kept a record of the money they were owed.

When Mr Weedon later died from his injuries, Minehan told one of the men, Terence Van-Eysden, not to tell the police that Mr Weedon had been on the scaffolding, doing work for him.

He threatened him that, if he didn’t lie to the police, Mr Van-Eysden would “lose everything”.

Minehan eventually pleaded guilty to gross negligence manslaughter and to trying to pervert the course of justice and was sentenced to three years and four months in prison and ordered to pay £7,000 towards the cost of the prosecution.

Abacus Scaffolding North West Ltd and its director Rickie Lake were sentenced for health and safety contraventions.

The company was fined £70,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3000. Lake was ordered to do 120 hours of unpaid community work, ordered to pay £2000 in costs and disqualified from holding a company directorship for 2 years.

Helen Morris, Senior Crown Prosecutor with Mersey-Cheshire Crown Prosecution Service’s Complex Casework Unit, said: “Minehan exploited Steven Weedon’s unemployed status and vulnerability for his own financial ends.

“In full knowledge of Steven Weedon’s ill health he employed him to work at height on dangerous scaffolding, selfishly exposing him to risk of falling and death, all for £30 per day cash in hand.

“He singularly failed to take any measures to protect Steven Weedon, already suffering serious ill health after leaving the army.

“Once the inevitable happened and Steven fell, he tried to protect his own position by asking witnesses to the accident to lie to police about his employment of Steven Weedon.

“The Crown Prosecution Service has worked closely with Merseyside Police and the Health and Safety Executive on this case.

“It serves as a warning to those who are willing to exploit and endanger the wellbeing of others in order to save money, that their actions are not only dangerous, but also potentially criminal and the consequences can be a criminal conviction and a significant sentence.”

HSE Inspector Christopher Smith said: “Steven tragically lost his life because his employer failed to make sure basic safety measures were in place to protect workers, including the use of an incorrectly built scaffold.

“The risk of people falling from height in construction is a well-known hazard. However, this site didn’t even come close to what was needed to protect the workers. Mr Minehan employed a vulnerable individual who should not have been put at risk in this way.

“It is vital that people take the risks seriously and put measures in place to protect their employees, otherwise we will continue to see the needless deaths of workers.”

Detective Chief Inspector Dave Rooney from Merseyside Police said: “Minehan has taken two years to admit his guilt in the killing of Steven Weedon.

“This was a tragic and utterly avoidable event. Steven was a vulnerable ex-serviceman who, at the time of his death, was suffering from PTSD as a result of service for his country. He needed support and help, not exploitation and neglect..

“I would like to pay tribute to Steven’s mother and sister, who having lost Steven suddenly, have shown remarkable strength and dignity throughout this investigation.”


Anthony Minehan jailed after refusing to call an ambulance when Steven Weedon fell from scaffolding

A judge at Liverpool Crown Court jailed 63-year-old Minehan for three years and four months – Friday 6 May 6.

Anthony Minehan employed Steven Weedon(33) to work on his home in Park Road West, Southport, paying him just £30 a day cash in hand.

The court heard today how Iraq veteran Mr Weedon managed to get up after the fall, on March 26 2014, but later died from massive head injuries.

The court Minehan knew Mr Weedon “could have an epileptic fit at any time” and should not have been working at height.

Anthony Minehan also told ‘lies’ to police to cover his tracks and convinced another man, Terence Van-Eysdon to make a false statement.

However he later pleaded guilty to gross negligence manslaughter and perverting the course of justice.

Minehan was also ordered to pay £7,000 in prosecution costs.

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UPDATE: Southport to face Health and Safety Manslaughter trail (14/08/15)

 A preliminary hearing at Liverpool Crown concluded that Anthony Minehan will now be prosecuted for “Health and Safety Manslaughter”, a full trial is scheduled for February 2016.


Southport man to appear at Crown Court ahead of possible murder trial

Southport man, Anthony Minehan will appear Liverpool Crown Court on 27th July 2015 for a preliminary hearing.

The preliminary hearing will decide whether or not there is substantial evidence to put Anthony Minehan on trial for death of Steven Weedon in March 27 2014.


Steven Weedon’s family pay tribute to the 34-year-old former soldier who was found dead at a property in Southport.

Three men were questioned on suspicion of murder after the body of Steven was discovered on March 27 at a house in Roselea Drive.

The property was linked to a charity providing accommodation  support for homeless ex-servicemen with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, alcoholism and drug abuse issues.

A post-mortem examination revealed Mr Weedon died of “multiple injuries”.

A neighbour said a charity representative regularly visited the address as part of an outreach service but that there had been some trouble at the house in the past.

Speaking on behalf of the whole family, Steven’s mum, Elizabeth Aspinall, and his sister, Leanne Whitmore, said: “We are devastated as a family and we will miss Steven dearly.

“He leaves his three children behind and we will not stop until justice is served for Steven and  our family.

“We would like to add that Soliders Off The Streets (SOTS) do a valuable job for vulnerable ex-soldiers and we would like to see this continue.

“Steven was proud to have been a soldier and he fought for his country.

“We would like him to be remembered as the proud father, soldier, brother and son that he  is.”

Four people have been arrested, questioned and bailed in connection with Mr Weedon’s death.

Three were men aged 24, 30 and 61 from Southport, while a man aged 53 was also arrested on suspicion of attempting to pervert the course of justice.




Merseyside Police can confirm that officers have arrested a 53-year-old man from Southport this morning on suspicion of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

He has been taken to a police station on Merseyside where he will be questioned by detectives.

Enquiries into this incident remain on-going



All three men have been released on police bail pending further enquiries.

A post mortem examination established that the victim died as a result of multiple injuries.



Merseyside Police has arrested three men on suspicion of murder after a man’s body was found at a house in Southport

The three men, are 30, 24 and 61. They all live in the Southport area. They have been taken to a police station on Merseyside, where they will be questioned by detectives.

Officers were called to a house on Roselea Drive at around 10 am after a report that a man in his 30s had died.

His death is currently being treated as unexplained and a post-mortem will be carried out in due course to determine the cause of his death.

Merseyside Police can confirm it is investigating following the sudden death of a man in Southport this morning (Thursday, March 27 2014).

Officers were called to a house on Roselea Drive at around 9:40am after receiving a report that a man in his 30s had died.

His death is currently being treated as unexplained and a post-mortem will be carried out in due course to determine the cause of his death.

An investigation to establish the full circumstances surrounding the incident is continuing.

Anyone with any information is asked to call Merseyside Police on 0151 777 3430, or via the police non-emergency 101 number, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.


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