A CIDER manufacturer has been fined after a much-loved grandfather was killed on his 65th birthday.

Tommy Manns, from Dymock, Gloucestershire, was driving for H Weston and Sons Limited, the manufacturer of Henry Westons Cider, when he was killed by the end of a security barrier on September 28 2020.

H Weston and Sons Limited was fined £1.4 million on Thursday after the company was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive.

A spokesperson for Westons Cider said: “We understand the court’s ruling and have worked closely with the Health & Safey Executive (HSE) following this tragic accident  to ensure that nothing like this can happen again.

“Tommy was a much valued colleague and our thoughts remain with his family.”

The van was being driven out of the firm’s site at Bounds Farm, March Marcle, Ledbury, when the end of a security barrier speared through the vehicle’s windshield and fatally crushed Mr Manns.

Two of Mr Mann's grandchildren had called him up to wish their grandad a happy birthday just hours before the accident.

Tommy, who had two children as well as three grandchildren, was a farm manager at H Weston and Sons Limited and had started working at the company in 2008.

A HSE investigation into the incident found H Weston and Sons had installed the barrier a month earlier, and failed to undertake a suitable and sufficient risk assessment.

The company also failed to implement a safe system of work to ensure the barrier could be secured safely when open and closed.

Rose Manns, Mr Mann's wife, said: “I am still in shock following the death of my husband. I’ve never been an emotional person, but since the accident I am nervous and reliving the accident all the time.

"In the beginning I couldn’t even drive because my husband was driving at the time of his accident and I couldn’t face driving again for a long time.

“I’ve always been a people’s person and now I have no confidence. People stop and ask me how I feel and how I am.

"I don’t feel confident to talk to people about what happened and people don’t know what to say to me."

H Weston and Sons Limited, of Much Marcle, Ledbury, Herefordshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 3(1) of the Management of Health and Safety  at Work Regulations 1999 and Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

The company was fined £1.4 million and ordered to pay £26,756.50 in costs at Kidderminster Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, November 30.