Man cleared after “hosing” neighbour off her stepladder

Posted on 29th Jul, 2013 | By Lorretta Tatham

A Lancashire plumber accused of accidentally “hosing” a neighbour off her stepladder has been cleared of assault.

Alex Leaver, 39, aimed a jet of water at Jilly Sandamas whilst she was trimming his garden hedge. The water hit Mrs Sandamas in the face, causing her to be knocked her off her stepladder, along with the electric hedge cutters.

The mother of two fell 5 feet into a flowerbed causing her to hurt her knee.

Mr Leaver, from Barnoldswick, was convicted of battery last January. He was fined £300 and ordered to pay Mrs Sandamas, 49, £100 compensation and legal costs.

But Mr Leaver appealed the conviction, which was overturned by an appeal judge at Burnley Crown Court.

Mr Leaver said: “It was all rather silly and it’s very unfortunate the matter got as far as it did.
“I’ve always wanted to be a good neighbour and I’ve never had any complaints before and get on well with my other neighbours – but things simply haven’t worked out between me and Mrs Sandamas.”
The judge Mr. Recorder William Smith called the case “unfortunate and unusual”.

He said: “Mrs Sandamas was clearly drenched with water but that did not prove the case against the appellant.”

Although Mrs Sandamas was lucky in this case, accidents caused due to ignorance can cost lives. The incident could have easily been avoided if Mr Leaver hadn’t been so careless while working around ladders.

Working at height is extremely dangerous and it’s vital to educate anyone involved with ladders to minimise the risks of accidents.

Figures released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) show that falls from ladders account for almost a third of all injuries and cost British industry £60m every year.

Don’t become another statistic!

It is extremely important for anyone who works with ladders to know the ins and outs of ladder safety in line with all the current health and safety laws.

Our ladder safety training courses can help you and your employees stay safe.

We offer training courses such as:

1. Safe Use & Pre Use Inspection of Ladder & Steps
2. Accredited Ladder Training Course
3. Safe Use of Towers, Ladders & Steps
4. Mobile Tower Application
5. Accredited Scaffold Training
6. Safe Working At Heights
7. Safe Use & Pre-Use Inspection of Harnesses


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