Banham Poultry deaths: Police investigate possible manslaughter

Neil Moon (left) and Jonathan (Jon) Collins (right) have been named as the men killed at the Banham

Neil Moon (left) and Jonathan (Jon) Collins (right) died at the Banham Poultry factory in Attleborough in 2018. - Credit: Archant

Police say they are looking at possible manslaughter charges over the deaths of two workers at Banham Poultry more than three years ago.

Two pest control subcontractors Jonathan Collins, 34, from Watton, and Neil Moon, 49, from Spalding were found dead in the early hours of October 4, 2018, at the Attleborough chicken factory.

Norfolk police and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) launched an investigation but until now have said little about it.

Police at Banham Poultry, next to the Attleborough Railway Station, after two pest controllers were

Police at Banham Poultry after the men's deaths in October 2018 - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2018

However, Detective Chief Inspector Phil Gray, who is leading the case, said: “This is a very complex investigation that is going to take time.

“Any investigation which relates to companies as well as individuals complicates matters and you have to work very closely with companies in charge of Banham Poultry and that elongates the process in terms of what failings have happened, if any at all.”

He said police were investigating possible charges of gross negligence, manslaughter and corporate manslaughter.

HSE, meanwhile, is also looking at non-criminal, health and safety offences, he said.

The ownership of the business has changed twice since the tragedy.

The day after the deaths, Banham Poultry’s owners announced the factory had been bought by a company called Chesterfield Poultry after several days of negotiations. 

Then last month the business was sold to the private office of 2 Sisters Food Group founder Ranjit Boparan.

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However, DCI Gray said the company changing hands did not affect the investigation.

Detective Chief Inspector Phil Gray. PIC: Submitted by Norfolk Police.

Detective Chief Inspector Phil Gray - Credit: Norfolk Constabulary

He also said police were in regular contact with the men’s families to keep them updated.

Both of the families paid emotional tributes to the two fathers at the time of their deaths.

Mr Collins’ fiancée, Sara Dutton, previously said: “It’s a terrible accident that never should have happened. He went to work one day and never came home.”

Emergency services were called to the site around 1am on October 4, 2018.

According to reports at the time, there was a suspected gas leak, but the cause of the deaths, normally confirmed at an inquest, has not been publicly announced as the inquest has been adjourned several times while the police investigation is ongoing.

We have contacted Banham Poultry.

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