Burghley House chiefs admit charge after butler is crushed to death in lift

A charity which runs one of Britain's most iconic stately homes faces a hefty fine after a butler was crushed to death in a luggage lift.

Friday, 3rd February 2017, 4:08 pm
Updated Friday, 3rd February 2017, 4:08 pm
Burghley House Estates Defense arrives at court, Crown Court, Peterborough 03/02/2017. Picture by Terry Harris. THA

This afternoon the trust that helps maintains the world-famous Burghley House in Stamford, admitted health and safety failings.

Arthur Mellar, 47, died in hospital hours after his head was crushed in a lift on July 12, 2014, at the Elizabethan country estate.

He had worked at the 16th century Burghley House for nine years.

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Today the Burghley House Preservation Trust pleaded guilty to one count of failing to ensure the welfare of their employee.

The Trust admitted failing to discharge a duty under Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, contrary to Section 33 (1) of the Health and Safety Act 1974.

Following the short 10 minute hearing at Peterborough Crown Court this afternoon, the Trust released a statement.

Sir John Nutting Bt QC, Chairman of the Governors of Burghley House Preservation Trust Limited, said: “The Governors and I, and all at Burghley, continue to be deeply saddened by the tragic accident that resulted in Arthur Mellar’s death in July 2014.”

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The Health and Safety Executive and police launched an investigation into safety standards at the home following the incident.

Judge Sean Enright dismissed the initial suggested sentencing date of March 24, and said it was too far away.

The Trust, which was defended by Ms Sarah Le Fevre, will instead be sentenced at Peterborough Crown Court on February 27.

Mr Mellar’s partner, Gerwin Castillo, was present in court but said he would comment on the case after sentencing.