Shropshire Company Director Jailed Over Supplying Asbestos Roofing Panels

Prosecution Following HSE Investigation


A 63-year-old company director from Shropshire has been sentenced to 12 months in prison after his company illegally supplied roofing panels containing asbestos to a farming partnership.

Robert Marsh, the sole director of RM Developments Ltd of Newport, changed his plea to guilty on the first day of his trial into the offence, the details of which emerged following an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Worcester Crown Court heard that after the sheets had been supplied, a steel erector was hired to build a barn with the materials. However, during final work, the contractor fell through the fragile asbestos roof sheets and suffered fatal injuries.

The court was also told that Mr Marsh told witnesses to hide the sheets that had been supplied and tried to persuade the deceased’s family not to report the incident to the HSE.

As well as receiving a six-month sentence, Mr Marsh was disqualified from being a director for six years and ordered to pay £10,000 in costs.

Expert Opinion
The dangers that asbestos can pose are widely known, yet time and time again our work on behalf of those diagnosed with mesothelioma and their families means we see instances where people have developed mesothelioma as a result of employers failing to heed warnings regarding the material.

"It is vital that all construction companies and their staff appreciate the dangers of asbestos, exposure to which can have lethal consequences many years later.

"Irwin Mitchell calls for stronger penalties and a better resourced Health and Safety Executive to enable more effective prosecutions to be brought against criminally reckless and negligent employers to reflect the devastating consequences which can follow exposure to asbestos products."
Alida Coates, Partner