A COURT heard that a business could close if it receives an expected fine of more than £200,000 for the death of an employee.

Kevin Scott died following an incident on the yard of Tooles Transport Ltd based in Rushock, near Worcester, on December 11, 2013.

The company employs 110 people, who the court heard could lose their jobs if a fine between £150,000 or £250,000 was imposed on the firm.

After a trial, Tooles Transport was found guilty by a jury, and the sentencing hearing was heard at Worcester Crown Court yesterday.

Prosecutor Bernard Thorogood told the court that the dad-of-two who died was a successful man, "who would help anybody" - and his sons were badly affected by his loss.

Mr Thorogood said: "A human life is priceless. "They, (the family) feel some sense of relief as a consequence of the jury's verdict."

Mr Thorogood argued the firm had a high level of culpability and harm, and that Mr Scott should never have been put in the position to be working as a banksman on the yard.

"There was an accident waiting to happen," Mr Thorogood said.

"Others were exposed to the risk for several years."

Mr Thorogood, representing the Health and Safety Executive which brought the case, argued the firm

was healthy, solvent and had profits, so could absorb a fine.

But defending, John Cooper, challenged many of his points, saying in fact the court had heard from witnesses who said drivers assisting another driver was a "rare thing" on the Rushock Trading Estate yard and there was no previous convictions against a firm that had been in business for more than 40 years.

Mr Cooper argued there was a low level of culpability and harm, and told the judge that the business was in fact teetering on the edge, and that "they simply don't have the money to pay the fine".

"I am saying a fine would ruin the company and the livelihoods of 110 people's jobs, and their families," Mr Cooper said.

"The £250,000 does not exist."

Judge Robert Juckes said he was in a difficult position where he was hearing two versions of the companies finances, and did not want to see the destruction of the business as a result of the fine.

Apologising to the family he said the case would have to be put back by at least two weeks, when witnesses could be called, so he could get a clearer picture.

"I am afraid there is nothing more I can do about it," Mr Juckes added.