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Corrections guilty over Nelson log death

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 26/09/2016

The Corrections Department has been found guilty of a health and safety charge after a man doing community work was crushed to death by a log near Nelson.

Robert Charles Ian Cave, 26, was killed by the 400kg log while working at a church property at Wakefield in 2014.

He and another man were cutting it up on their own because their supervisor, Reverend Allan Wasley, who had felled the tree but left it in an unsafe position, was unwell.

The log rolled down the hill and pinned Cave, who later died.

In a decision released on Monday, chief District Court Judge Jan-Marie Doogue said WorkSafe had proved Corrections was at fault, but she was also critcal of Rev Wasley.

"Reverend Wasley's actions on the day of Mr Cave's death were seriously flawed, but they were flawed by reason of Corrections' failure to communicate or enforce requisite standards of conduct in relation to community work placements," she said.

Corrections will be sentenced in Nelson District Court on November 2.

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