13-year jail sentence for business owner after drowning tragedy

One of the owners of a food waste recycling company which was convicted of corporate manslaughter after the tragic deaths of two employees has been jailed for 13 years.

By Nick Rennie
Thursday, 16th June 2022, 4:38 pm
Updated Thursday, 16th June 2022, 4:49 pm
Gavin Rawson (left) and Nathan Walker, who tragically died in an incident at Greenfeeds Ltd near Bottesford in 2016
Gavin Rawson (left) and Nathan Walker, who tragically died in an incident at Greenfeeds Ltd near Bottesford in 2016

Nathan Walker (19) and 35-year-old Gavin Rawson died back in 2016 after falling into a road haulage tanker containing semi-liquid pig feed at Greenfeeds Ltd, at Normanton, near Bottesford.

In a court sentencing hearing at Leicester Crown Court today (Thursday), 60-year-old Gillian Leivers, of Newark, was sent to prison for 13 years after being found guilty of gross negligence manslaughter at an earlier trial.

Leivers oversaw the day-to-day running of the site and the hearing was told that the company was found to have had no adequate health and safety procedures in place to govern the cleaning of their tankers.

Her husband, Ian Leivers (59), who owned and ran the company with his wife, was jailed for 20 months after being found guilty, as a director of Greenfeeds Ltd, of breaching the health and safety act.

Stewart Brown (69), of Mansfield, who was transport manager and in charge of the yard, was sentenced to a year in jail, suspended for two years, after being convicted of a health and safety breach.

Gillian and Ian Leivers were also disqualified by the court from being company directors for 15 years and 10 years, respectively.

Today’s hearing also saw Greenfeeds Ltd being fined for £2million.

On the afternoon of December 22, 2016, Mr Walker, who was a member of yard staff at the company, had climbed into a tanker to clean it after it was found the tanker could not be fully emptied of the pig feed.

But he got into difficulty and the alarm was raised leading to Mr Rawson, who was also a member of yard staff, climbing into the tanker in an attempt to rescue Mr Walker.

Both men were pulled from the tanker after a saw was used to cut holes in the side of the tanker. Emergency services were at the scene and resuscitation was attempted but both men sadly died at the scene.

Det Con Kirsty Iqbal, investigating officer for Leicestershire Police, commented: “The families have suffered unimaginable pain and I thank them for their patience, support and co-operation with us to allow us to fully investigate.”