Farmer denies causing tractor hay bale death

The scene of the accident
The scene of the accident
One of the horses neglected by Robin Jeffries and Pauline Vinall, which was left emaciated Picture: RSPCA

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A TRACTOR driver has pleaded not guilty to causing the death of a welder in a road accident.

Gary Gosnell, 27, appeared at Worthing Magistrates’ Court after being charged with six driving offences, including causing death by driving a tractor without due care and attention.

Seventy-year-old Mick Daish, of Compton Road, Hilsea, was on his way to work when large bales of hay fell on to his red Alfa Romeo from a trailer that was being towed by a tractor.

Mr Daish was killed instantly, the court was told.

The incident happened in Street End Road, Sidlesham, near Chichester, shortly after 7am on September 28, 2012 and the tractor was travelling in the opposite direction to the Alfa Romeo.

Gosnell, of Blackberry Lane, Selsey, appeared in court wearing a black suit and confirmed his details before entering a not guilty plea.

Other charges include driving a tractor that had faulty brakes and a trailer that had a corroded tow hitch arm.

The court was told he had been hired to drive the tractor by Ashley Michael Strange.

The 28-year-old, of Hundredsteddle Lane, Birdham, near Chichester, is accused of eight charges.

They include failing to ensure a tachograph was installed in the tractor, not having an operator’s licence, and having defective brakes and corroded equipment.

His case will be dealt with as a separate matter.

Mr Gosnell’s case was referred to Chichester Crown Court, where a trial before a jury will take place.

Gosnell was given unconditional bail and will appear at court again on June 20 for a preliminary hearing.

As reported, Mr Daish was known as a hard worker, still working full-time as a fabricator welder at the age of 70.

A respected Irishman, he was a former president of The Irish Club in Southsea and a member of Irish folk band, Mist On The Bog.

Mick’s death devastated his wife Lesley and his sons Liam, a former Pompey player, and Sean and his two step-sons, Joe and Jack.

Mick, who lived in Havant for many years, had travelled the world on submarines with the Royal Navy.