Scales of justice©Peter Brooker/Rex Shutterstock

Two men have been jailed over the death of a farm contractor who was electrocuted while working on a farm in Cornwall.

Jason Morgan, 33 from Bristol, was killed at Great Brynn Barton Farm near Roche in June 2011.

Mr Morgan had been putting up safety netting on a barn extension when his ladder touched an 11,000V overhead power cable. He suffered an electric shock and collapsed and died.

See also: A quick guide to safe working for farm contractors

Jason Morgan

Jason Morgan © Devon and Cornwall Police

Truro Crown Court heard the power line passed within 2m of the steel-framed barn extension.

Farmer Roger Matthews, 48, from St Ervan, Wadebridge, and Norman Treseder, 54, from Wendron, Helston, a civil engineer who was running the project, were each jailed for four years on Tuesday (13 October).

Both men had been found guilty of the manslaughter by gross negligence of Mr Morgan following a trial in August.

Philip Tucker, 57, from St Wenn, Bodmin, who had been employed to do the roofing on the barn, was found guilty of one count under the Health and Safety Act and sentenced to a nine-month prison term suspended for two years.

Mr Matthews and Mr Tucker were also ordered to pay £10,000 each in court costs to the Crown Prosecution Service.

Mr Matthews’ company Matthews Plant Hire was found guilty of two counts under the Health and Safety Act and the company will be sentenced at a later date.

During the trial, the court heard that Mr Matthews and Mr Treseder had ignored warnings by Western Power Distribution, which owned the power line, that anyone working near cables should observe a minimum exclusion zone of 3m.

Roger Matthews and Norman Treseder.

Roger Matthews and Norman Treseder. © Devon and Cornwall Police

The trial also heard that Mr Morgan had not been warned about the danger of the proximity of the power line before starting work at the farm, which was described by prosecutors as a “death trap”.

Speaking after sentencing, Detective Inspector Stuart Ellis, of Devon and Cornwall Police, said the case “serves to highlight the importance of health and safety matters to all those involved in construction and the tragic consequences that can occur unless appropriate precautions are taken”.