Rayleigh electrician found guilty in connection with death of seven-year-old boy at Romford pub

Mick Ferris

A second man has been found guilty in connection with the death of seven-year-old Harvey Tyrrell in Romford.

Colin Naylor, 74, of Rayleigh, was found guilty at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Tuesday February 16 of failing to discharge a duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act.

He was found not guilty of gross negligence manslaughter.

He was bailed to appear for sentencing at the same court on a date to be confirmed.

Police were called by the London Ambulance Service (LAS) to The King Harold public house in Station Road, Romford, shortly after 5.20pm on September 11, 2018 and found seven-year-old Harvey Tyrrell, from Harold Wood, unresponsive.

Harvey was taken to an east London hospital where he was pronounced dead that evening.

A special post-mortem at St Thomas’ Hospital on September 13, 2018 found the cause of his death to be electrocution.

An investigation was launched by detectives from the Met’s East Area Command. During the course of their enquiries it was discovered that while playing with a friend in the garden at the pub, Harvey had sat on a light and touched a railing resulting in an electric shock that proved fatal.

The electrical installation of the light and a significant amount of electrical maintenance at the property had been completed by Naylor. The light that caused Harvey’s death had been fitted by Naylor just three months previously,

On inspection, it was found that the metal casing of the light was live with electricity, having not been sufficiently earthed or insulated against water ingress.

Naylor claims to have 50 years’ experience as a qualified electrician. He admitted that in April 2018, he had carried out work at the premises and had viewed one of the electrical distribution boards. He said this gave him cause to ‘raise his eyebrows’, but having spoken to the owner of the pub he took the decision ‘not to get involved in that side of things.’

The inspection conducted following Harvey’s tragic death found that the entire distribution board serving the garden lights was not earthed.

Detective Sergeant Andy McAlister said: “As a qualified electrician, Naylor had not only the ability, but also the responsibility, to ensure that the work he completed didn’t pose a risk to those visiting the venue.

“Expert examination of the electrical system identified a variety of modifications that were far below an acceptable safety standard. Naylor made it clear in his police interview that he did not think the safety of the electrical system as a whole was his responsibility.

“The decision he made to continue with the installation, regardless of the dangerous wiring already present, cost the life of an innocent child and has devastated a family.”

Harvey’s parents, Lewis Tyrrell and Danielle Jones, said: “After two and a half years of heartbreak since losing our beautiful baby boy Harvey, we are grateful to the jury for finding Colin Naylor guilty for the part he played in our precious son’s death.

“We are grateful to our community, the police and the prosecution team for all their support during our tragic ordeal. As a family we need some time to reflect on this outcome.”

The pub’s owner, David Bearman, 73, of Ardleigh Green Road, Hornchurch, pleaded guilty to gross negligence manslaughter in March 2020 at the Old Bailey.

He has been bailed for sentencing at Snaresbrook Crown Court on a date to be confirmed.


Mick Ferris

Editor Email: mickferris@yellowad.co.uk